My name is LaDavonia Apple and I’m a runner.
Growing up, I faced a lot of hardships. After the death of my great grandma, I was shuffled between different adults in my life, never finding a solid foundation. It felt like I went from being a child to an adult overnight. I learned to rely on myself. I took care of my younger sister, providing for her. Sometimes, my sister and I would visit my dad in Miami. We would entertain ourselves with running, competing against one another. On one of those visits, my dad told me, “You better be a runner, because you’re too fast!” I heard those words and they never left me.
In 9th grade, I began running for my high school’s track and field team. When I started running competitively, I realized that running was my passion. It was the first thing in my life that was my own. No one could take the sport away from me. No one could tell me I wasn’t going to make it in life. I had this talent that made me feel invincible on the track, truly unstoppable. Running allowed me to channel all of those negative experiences into something positive.
When I’m running, I’m in control of my life. That feeling is addicting, it pushes me to go faster, to work harder. I’m extremely dedicated to my talent. I’m at every practice and competition. I train regularly every week outside of practice. At the 2017 VHSL conference, I placed 8th in the state. Additionally, I was a 100m champion, 200m champion, and a 4 × 1 relay champion. My dream is to become a track and field sprinter. When I stand behind that line, I think of competing in the Olympic