Show-Me State Games competitor finds lost love for running

8 months 3 days 2 minutes ago Sunday, July 28 2019 Jul 28, 2019 Sunday, July 28, 2019 10:28:00 PM CDT July 28, 2019 in Sports
By: Hannah Howard, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter

COLUMBIA - Athletes competed in the Show-Me State Games Track and Field competition on Saturday, and for one athlete, it was the first time in 20 years.

Kenny Williams was a track star in high school. He even had a full-ride offer to run in college but made the decision to walk away from it all.

"After the end of my senior year, I guess I just had had enough," he said. "I don't exactly remember why. I just stopped running, and I never picked it up after that.”

Williams said he always had a love/hate relationship with the sport.

"It’s just really competitive," he said. "You want to be faster and faster, run harder and harder. But throwing up at the end of races, it just kind of wares on you.”

Fast-forward 16 years, Williams endured a knee injury and then surgery to get it fixed.

"I was in an arm wrestling match with my son, who I think maybe was four years old at the time," he said. "I was right here on the floor and for some reason when I rolled over, my knee cap dislocated or something. Apparently, there was a little piece of cartilage just floating around by my knee cap or under it, and it just kind of swelled up and exploded."

The surgery went well, but the recovery process was slow. What was supposed to be a few weeks of recovery, turned into a few months.

Williams was left frustrated, until an idea from his wife changed everything.

"She said, 'Why don’t you try doing a 5K or something, give you something to work towards.' And so I was like 'Yeah, that’s a good idea.' I used to run, so maybe that will help," he said.

Williams started out with one mile, then he slowly progressed to two and then three and all the way up to six miles. And in that time, Williams found his love for running again.

Four years post-knee surgery plus 16 more since high school, Williams was determined to race in a meet again. And the Show-Me State Games were the perfect opportunity.

“It’s kind of full circle I guess. I don't know if that’s cliche," he said. "But I used to be a runner and completely stopped and now back to it again. I feel like in ways I'm stronger even though my times may not be as fast. But I feel stronger because I'm motivated to do it myself."

Williams participated in both the 800 and 3000 meter events, and he was even able to bring home the gold.

“Sometimes life hands you a challenge, like a knee surgery or whatever it is, and you have a choice to work through it," he said. "And often times those challenges can help you improve and get better. If we take the chance to do something about it and get back up and get going, it can actually be a motivating factor.” 

More News

Grid
List
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU 8 News... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 9:17:00 AM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - On March 1, daily life in Columbia looked a lot different than it does today. People were... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 4:00:00 AM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
TROY (AP) — An eastern Missouri sheriff's department has reached a $2 million settlement with a man who spent more... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 8:23:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Governor Parson said during his daily press briefing on Monday that it could be 60 to 90 days... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 7:05:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA— MU students will have from May 18 to June 5 to decide whether to report their grades as letter... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 3:50:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Six restaurant owners gathered together to provide "scrappy meals" for those in need due to COVID-19 on Monday... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 3:35:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The owner of downtown Columbia’s Broadway Diner said he’s been able to provided more than 300 meals in... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 3:32:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU 8 News... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 2:38:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The stay-at-home order in Boone County isn't even a week old, but the city of Columbia says they've... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 2:18:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, Missouri's Supreme Court is allowing for leniency in sentencing. The... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 2:10:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - School administrators said the earlier issues with Schoology have been resolved. The online platform teachers and students... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 11:09:00 AM CDT March 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools have announced a grab-and-go meal delivery service for students in need, as schools remain closed... More >>
1 day ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 Monday, March 30, 2020 5:15:00 AM CDT March 30, 2020 in Top Stories
BOONVILLE - A land, water and air search was underway for a man who jumped over the side of a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 29 2020 Mar 29, 2020 Sunday, March 29, 2020 6:24:00 PM CDT March 29, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump said Sunday he would extend his "slow the spread" social distancing guidelines to April 30... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 29 2020 Mar 29, 2020 Sunday, March 29, 2020 5:37:00 PM CDT March 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - 19 people in Boone County have recovered from COVID-19, according to the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 29 2020 Mar 29, 2020 Sunday, March 29, 2020 2:46:00 PM CDT March 29, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More surgical masks, gloves, gowns, face shields and other equipment is being sent to healthcare facilities around... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 29 2020 Mar 29, 2020 Sunday, March 29, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT March 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— Columbia chefs are donating food and resources to provide "Scrappy Meals" for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 29 2020 Mar 29, 2020 Sunday, March 29, 2020 1:38:00 PM CDT March 29, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
11am 56°
12pm 58°
1pm 61°
2pm 62°