No Regrets

Crossing the finish line

Patrick Mortensen ’20

For the senior student-athletes at St. Lawrence and around the country, the toughest part of the COVID-19 pandemic was that there was no sense of closure. There would be no final home game or senior day recognition for all the sacrifices they made throughout their athletic careers.

I know I was not alone in feeling frustrated and confused when something I’d poured my heart and soul into was taken away so quickly. My moment of closure, however, occurred when I was packing up my locker for the final time. For as many tears as I shed and for how difficult it was to remove my belongings from the locker, I had a strange feeling of comfort knowing that I did everything to be the best runner I could be throughout my career at St. Lawrence. I was leaving with no regrets. 

Over the past four years, I ran over 10,000 miles, which is the equivalent of running from Canton, New York, to Melbourne, Australia. I did thousands of push-ups, hours of core, and made countless sacrifices throughout my time here. 

In the final race of my St. Lawrence career, I was about 10 seconds away from earning All-America honors, a personal goal that I pursued relentlessly every season. As agonizingly close as I was to achieving that goal, I take pride in the fact I tried so hard and came up short. Instead of leaving St. Lawrence asking myself, “What if I took running more seriously?” I leave knowing deep down that I did everything I could to be the best version of myself.

Though this was not the end that I had imagined, I am so incredibly grateful to have been able to represent St. Lawrence. I was fortunate to have a coaching staff which supported my goals and did everything to help me achieve them. I was fortunate to have teammates who shared the same passion for the sport I did and who will be lifelong friends. And, I was fortunate to have spent four years in a place that I can call home. Not many people can say that. 

Before every race, we receive our final instructions from Coach Newman in our pre-race huddle, then we chant “JOUST” before heading back to the starting line. Not many know the significance behind this tradition, but the word joust is derived from the Latin word juxta which means beside, next to, or very near. As Saints, we aim to be next to each other from start to finish. That is the Laurentian spirit: being there for each other from start to finish, through the highs and lows which come along throughout the journey.
For the student-athletes who have another season or another few years left in their careers at St. Lawrence: Aim to leave St. Lawrence with no regrets because the pain of regret is far worse than the pain of trying your hardest to achieve a goal and coming up short.