Quinn Cannella: The Mind Of A Runner

Quinn Cannella OFSAA - 3000m

Quinn Cannella (far left) stands on the OFSAA podium after winning silver in the Junior Boys 3000m – Contributed Photo

7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. That’s the schedule of a competitive runner. There are no day’s off, there are no breaks. Every day is a chance to improve a time and lower a personal best. In a timed sporting event where every millisecond matters, a day off may be the difference between heartbreak and a podium finish.

Quinn Cannella, a grade 10 student at Chatham-Kent Secondary School, knows all about the dedication it takes to succeed in competitive running. Having just won 2 OFSAA Track and Field medals, a Silver and a Bronze in the junior boys 3000m and 1500m. He has also won a national championship in cross-country with his Windsor Legion team at the 2013 Canadian championships in Vancouver, BC.

Quinn Cannella - Running

Quinn Cannella competing at OFSAA – Contributed Photo

“I started running in Grade 3 when I joined my elementary school’s cross-country team. That’s when I discovered I had a talent for the sport and loved doing it. In Grade 6 I joined the Windsor Legion track team. And once I got to High School, I started to take it more seriously, running both cross-country and track. I have found that running gives me a lot of confidence. It also gives me something to look forward to doing after a long day.”

Success isn’t always easy to come by when you are running on the provincial circuit. This is where the top runners in all age groups compete. And when running against such stiff competition, bad days and disappointments are bound to happen. But for Quinn, the most important thing is how you deal with these failures.

“I have had a few races where I had wanted things to go differently, but in running there aren’t any do-overs. The good thing about the races that don’t go as planned is that you are able to learn from what went wrong. Every race brings something new, either good or bad. Sometimes when you don’t achieve a goal it can be discouraging, but it’s never something to worry about. The disappointments are what make me want to push harder to achieve what I want. When something goes wrong, I put it in perspective and look forward to the next run.”

Running is known to have its perks. It is a great way to stay in shape and can relieve stress. But Quinn isn’t running only for a way to clear his head. It’s also a way for him to achieve his other dreams. He is hoping that his talent of running will make NCAA schools take notice.

“My goal is to get noticed by an American university or college. The important thing is to get schooling out of it. I want to get into the medical field doing physiotherapy and I think that getting a scholarship will help me with the education I need to get the job I want. At the Windsor Legion, where I train, there have been a bunch of good distance runners that have trained there and received scholarships including Brandon McBride (Mississippi State), Brandon Allen (Iona) and Ryan Sleiman (Iona).”

All runners feel pain while running; but Quinn seems to have embraced the fact that stopping may hurt even more.

“Many people say that running becomes a sort of lifestyle and I agree with that. It takes a lot of dedication and desire to be able to run competitively. A lot of my life revolves around it. I don’t want to stop.”

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    Jill Slaughter 8 years

    A wonderful report on a fine young athlete from Chatham. I look forward to following Quinn’s endeavours, and his methods of achieving them,as he participates in a sport he loves.