Friendly Influence

1996 Fort Collins Varsity Team - 2nd place finisher in the Colorado State 5A division race

1996 Fort Collins Varsity Team - 2nd place finisher in the Colorado State 5A division race


Join me for track practice.


It was a friend that brought me to running.  She wasn’t a runner or even an athlete.  I don’t know why she even wanted to join the middle school track team.  I was not an athlete either.  Since my family was in a constant state of change and my father was parenting on his own, sports had not been an option.  The extent of my athletic experience only entailed winning the elementary school field day races once a year. 

Middle school track in Fort Collins, Colorado was only 6 weeks long with just a few meets.  It only took that one last race where I was flying through the finish line to capture my heart.  When the fall cross country season came a few months later I quickly lined myself up to run on the high school team.  Running in the shadows, I was the most wide-eyed, innocent, quirky little girl with a bit of pudge and not real running shoes. I tagged along on a team that had a serious history of winning and a coach that took us to the podium at state meets.  

Start line focus

Start line focus

While riding to the first cross country race, the fast girls pulled a prank by convincing me that gullible was not in the dictionary.  With that same innocence, I accepted the pointing out of the race course thinking I would just be following all the jerseys in front of me.  The JV race gun went off and I dashed out to the front.  No one stepped ahead of me.  In the lead, I took the wrong turn and was guided back by the spectating parents.  A lesson I would never forget as I became the course strategist on all my racing teams.  To the surprise of my team, I finished with a win. 

During the next practice, the varsity boys walked by exclaiming, “So, you are the one that won the girls' JV race.”  I blushed as bright as my red trimmed glasses.  I knew the joy I felt while running was worth being watched. It was the beginning of a love for running.  

My future was altered by a friendly invitation. So I encourage you to reach out to a friend and experience a new endeavor together.  You may help them find their love.


Come along side of me.  Together we explore.

1996 Fort Collins High School's winning teams

1996 Fort Collins High School's winning teams




Shelly Binsfeld

Running Coach in Minnesota

Optimize your Hard Work in an Intelligent Way