One graduate student’s love for the track motivates him to remain dedicated to his sport. 

Once Felix Perrier’s feet hit the ground running, he feels an exhilarating high that he can’t really explain. The graduate student from Grenoble, France is a member of the Azusa Pacific men’s track and cross-country team. 

As an undergraduate student, Perrier studied management, marketing and economics in France. Now, he is working towards getting his Master’s degree in business administration, with a focus on international business. Once he completes his degree, he hopes to work for a non-profit sports organization. 

Perrier decided to attend an American university because he wanted to continue pursuing his love for track. Before he started running track full-time, he played soccer and would occasionally run cross country with his school. It wasn’t until one of the club coaches scouted his potential, however, that he started to put all of his time and energy into running. 

Naturally, he quit soccer shortly after and dedicated his time to developing his craft on the track. Since joining the track team, he’s cultivated a sense of community amongst his team members. Even though running is an individual sport, competing with his teammates allows him to improve on the track.

Perrier enjoys training with his teammates, but he also appreciates the individual component of track. “I love that it’s an individual sport, and I can control how I perform. I’m not dependent on anyone else,” he said.

Photo via Felix Perrier

In order to be ready for the April and May races, training had to start months in advance. For example, in December, athletes must continuously attempt to increase their distance. Little by little, the mileage grew so they would be prepared for their spring races. This season, Perrier will be competing in the 3k, 5k and 1500-meter track competitions. 

Perrier says patience and resilience are key factors when it comes to track. He recalled how frustrating it can feel when you can’t figure out what you keep doing wrong. “How you’re training right now might not pay off until next season,” he said. Even still, Perrier noted it’s important to push forward and continue to train at your highest level.

Even though it can be difficult to not compete at your best during a whole season, Perrier’s coach reminds the team that their time for winning will come. For now, they should focus on competing with each other and working on growing themselves. 

“I would like to be better than I was the day before,” Perrier said. 

It’s evident that Perrier’s love for the sport runs deep and a few losses can’t stop him from doing what he cares about. It might be difficult to wake up in the morning and hit the field for practice. However, once he feels the pavement beneath his feet, he doesn’t regret the early mornings. 

For Perrier, track is bigger than just dividing up his wins and defeats. It’s about focusing on how the sport makes him feel. “Having an unsuccessful race is inevitable, but don’t let one loss affect you, or how you train,” he said.

In the end, track is more than the victories and the losses for the athlete. It’s about finding true joy in the running itself and not allowing the best days nor the worst days define how you feel about the sport you love. 

“I’m just glad to be out there running because I love how racing makes me feel,” Perrier said.