As soon as Karmen LeRoy wakes up, she's on the fast track!
"Wake up, drink coffee always, and then I go to a college class, and then I go to three classes here at Trinity, and sometimes I have to run and then go to basketball practice, because right now, my seasons are colliding," LeRoy says.
She sets a high bar, but by meeting the challenges head-on, she's maintained a 4.0 GPA, made the Final Four basketball team, and even placed in state for track and cross country for the past two years.
"Honestly, I'm not really sure how I do it, because some nights are so long and I am so winded and tired after studying, and I never really have any downtime, so just being dedicated is the main thing," LeRoy says.
However, life threw a hurdle in her path.
"So in middle school, they realized my back was curved about 23 degrees, and my sophomore year, it kept getting worse as I grew and got taller. They said, 'You either have surgery now or you can wait until college,' and I was like, 'I just want to get it over with,'" LeRoy says.
Forced to sit out for the season, she was determined to start training again.
"I was very out of shape -- I felt like I've never ran a step in my life and it was just so different, like I was like, 'Oh, I'm never going to get back,' and got down on myself a little bit," she says.
She had to remind herself that recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.
"I think it's all about your mindset -- you know, if you are negative about it, then your body will be negative about it -- so I really just looked at how I could improve instead of comparing myself to others in the moment," LeRoy says.
Pushing herself, her dedication allowed her to come back faster than ever.
"Karmen has proven what we want to teach to runners anyway that struggle is OK -- as long as you persevere, you can overcome," head cross country coach Kelly Toler says.
Now she sets her sights on a new goal -- running in college!
Running the race of life, she's determined to finish strong.
Karmen says she has her eyes set on quite a few school in hopes of continuing her cross country career and says she will be making a decision in the upcoming weeks.
She also hopes to follow in her mom's footsteps and majoring in nursing.
Karmen will be competing in the Meet of Champions in Fayetteville on Saturday in hopes of bringing home yet another title.