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    Bryce Dunn, 14, is an eighth-grader and currently ranked first in the country for middle school cross country in the 3K at Christian Academy of Indiana in New Albany. 


    Louisville Magazine: How’d you become such a great cross-country runner?

    Dunn: "It’s kind of funny — I used to hate exercise. I just didn’t like sports in general. My parents made me join cross country (in fifth grade) to get me in shape, and the first year I really liked it. After about two years I just started getting really good at it. Runners, naturally from running, lose flexibility and strength; by gaining strength and getting flexibility, I become a better runner. My dad had this set of P90X DVDs that he bought years ago, and I took one out and played it one day and thought, I kind of like it. After practice I’d come home and do some P90X, and if I felt good I’d do some yoga. I’d just do stuff on my own to make me a better runner."


    Lou Mag: What do you like about running? 

    Dunn: "It’s a stress release for me because I have OCD and a lot of anxiety and for years I struggled with it, but once I started exercising, it released a lot of tension in my mind."


    Lou Mag: What’s your workout schedule like?

    Dunn: "During the season, every day I’m running at least about three miles, but on days where I really go for distance I can run like 11. Usually what we’ll do is: Monday distance, Tuesday speed, Wednesday distance — and go back and forth and do a little bit of what they call muscle confusion, where you’re getting more results by changing up your workout."


    Lou Mag: Do you have any goals with cross country?

    Dunn: "What’s really hard with the goals part is, because I have OCD I will obsess over my goals and I’ve learned, over this past season really, not to stress out so much about it. So what I decided to do was run as fast as I can and see how far I can go. That way I can really go for peace of mind, if that makes sense."


    Lou Mag: Are there any runners who inspire you?

    Dunn: "(1972 Olympian) Steve Prefontaine, he’s a big one. But I also have one because of his faith. If you’ve ever seen the movie Chariots of Fire, you’ll know about Eric Liddell. He was a big Christian. He ran really good times and he was awesome at the Olympics, but his thing was, ‘God made me fast, so when I run I feel His pleasure.’ That just sums me up."

    This article originally appeared in Fit Louisville Magazine. To see more or subscribe, click here. 

    Image: Adam Mescan

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