It’s one thing to say you’re going to give your all as an athlete—it’s another thing to do it.
It’s another thing completely to fight through an injury to perform better than ever before.
Alexis Namdar, a recent North High graduate and track star, did just that. In junior year, the five-time All-County runner broke her foot within the first five minutes of a 4k race in Van Cortlandt Park.
“I fell and felt a crack in my foot, but it wasn’t enough pain to stop running so I just kept going,” Namdar said.
Namdar was not only able to complete the race, but wound up setting a new personal best for the event.
“I had that little ache the whole race but it was fine,” Namdar said. “Eventually I finished the race and I ran a really good time. Once I finished, I couldn’t walk anymore. I felt like my foot was not there.”
The injury sidelined Namdar for a few months, but that experience came with a valuable lesson.
“It showed me how tough I could really be,” she said. “If I could run a race with a broken foot I could do anything.”
Namdar, former captain of both the track and cross country teams, said running is almost therapeutic for her.
“I like how it makes me feel,” Namdar said. “After a long, tired day of school going on a run just clears my mind and just makes me feel good.”
The successes of running didn’t come without the hard work, however.
It was only once she switched to distance running that Namdar saw her potential. Once long distance, Namdar was able to develop an impressive work ethic.
“Distance running you can’t really be born with, you really have to practice,” Namdar said. “If I don’t run for two weeks, I won’t be a good runner. It’s really just practice.”
Namdar doesn’t just practice occasionally. During the summer, when she is in between seasons, she runs between 30 and 35 miles a week. It’s during these gaps in the year that Namdar says running is most important.
In addition to her five All-County awards, Namdar was able to break a school record in the 4 x 1500 her freshman year.
“It was really cool,” Namdar said. “I didn’t think I could join track for the first time in high school and be on the record team.”
Looking back on her high school career, Namdar said she will miss the bonds she built with her fellow runners.
“I’m going to miss my team, my coaches, and the family that we created,” Namdar said,. “Since we’re together three seasons a year we’re really close and we’re best friends. All the pain that we go through just brings us closer.”
Namdar will be pursuing a degree in health sciences at the New York Institute of Technology, hoping to become a physical therapist. It was her experience with physical therapy after breaking her foot during her junior year race that got her interested in the field.
While in college, Namdar will continue to run on NYIT’s Division II track team,where she will compete in longer events like the 5k and 10k.