If the Hallmark channel taught us anything, it’s that it’s never too late to chase a dream.
For Decatur High School sophomore Adrion Workman, it’s not too early either.
You won’t find him in a helmet and pads, or on the hardwood, or the soccer pitch. Instead, you’ll find him at Pattison’s West Skating Center in Federal Way as a member of Pattison’s Team Xtreme, working to become the best inline speed skater the city’s ever seen.
It’s a dream Workman has chased since early childhood, and on June 23 he made that dream a reality when he was invited to compete at the Olympic Training Center Velodrome and University of Colorado road circuit in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he faced 29 other 14- to 18-year-olds for a spot on the USA Junior World Class Inline Speed Skating Team.
Workman not only qualified for the team, he won the overall championship that day. It wasn’t easy, though. Workman needed to place in every event in order to make the team. With the win at juniors, he’ll represent the United States in the world championships in Nanjing, China, Sept. 3-10.
It’s too bad dream-chasing, talented athletes like Workman have to shine away from their biggest support system — their classmates.
It’s too bad the National Federation of State High School Associations doesn’t offer sports such as inline speed skating, skate boarding, BMX riding, etc.
Why don’t they? Or, at a minimum, why not give them a shot?
Inline speed skating is considered a major sport is other countries around the globe. Perhaps the NFHS should take a look at offering it as a sport.
Why not recognize inline speed skating as an option for high school athletes?
Why not give athletes like Workman or fellow Federal Wayan Marcus Howard a chance to perform in front of classmates as Golden Gators or Eagles?
It would allow them to introduce the sport to a larger audience not comprised of coaches and family, and it would allow for them to compete for state championships for their school, something that would bear their name in a place they occupy for four years.
Competing as a member of a high school team would also save Workman and his family a great deal of money. Traveling to national events is expensive.
Between amenities such as airfare, housing, food, equipment and competition, Workman has to raise $3,000 for the trip to the world championship.
Fundraising has become an all-too-common problem in youth inline speed skating. Members of the world team have gradually been cut over the course of the last few years.
This makes chasing a dream like competing for a national team harder and a lot less fun.
All the more reason to consider some sort of expansion on the high school sports level.
Workman’s on the path to making his dream of competing in the world championship come true. His next stop on the journey is in Lincoln, Nebraska, for the USARS Indoor Nationals from July 15-22.
Lincoln’s a familiar spot for Workman. In 2016, it’s where he won the Sophomore 2-Mixed Relay, setting a record of 4 minutes, 40.870 seconds, averaging almost 24 mph per lap for 30 laps.
Going to a world championship in inline speed skating is a dream Workman’s chased since he was 9.
There’s a chance most of his classmates and school staff have no idea what he does, or even know what inline speed skating is.
Regardless of the attention, or lack thereof, Workman now goes from quiet, lonesome practice runs at Pattison’s West to the national, maybe even global, stage.
Now that’s living a dream.
Jerod Young is the sports reporter for the Mirror. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.