NEWBURGH - Running is a lot like life. Just ask Gianna Frontera.
"When you say your goals out loud, it puts them out there," said Frontera. "It seals it and makes everything real."
The lesson about verbal goals was just one of several that Frontera mined during her five week stay at the prestigious Team Prep USA Running Camp this summer. Already establishing herself during her junior year as one of the top female scholastic harriers in New York State, Frontera was intent on setting the bar even higher her senior year. Having had attended running camps in the past, she realized they were part of the equation to reach that end. Not any camp would suffice however.
"It had to be one longer than a week and one that was really going to challenge me," said Frontera.
After researching a host of camps, Frontera found just what she was looking for: Team Prep USA Running Camp. Accepting some of the top high school runners from the country and world, Team Prep required recommendations and a solid overall resume. Gianna had the goods. However, there were some obstacles.
"At first I was hesitant because of the duration and expense, but I saw real desire in Gianna; she really wanted to improve, so we all worked together to make it happen," said Gianna’s father, John Frontera. "And, now that she’s home, we really see a difference in her and how it will make a positive impact on her future."
Part of that future slate is now filled with a host of colleges courting Gianna with Division I scholarships. It’s possibilities such as those that she is quick to credit to her Team Prep USA experience. Initially heading out west for three weeks of camp, Frontera immediatley made an impression on several of the camps’ coaches. As a result, she was selected as one of just 18 out of 90 runners to attend the Elite Training Camp for an additional two weeks. In addition to developing her mileage base in high elevations, she also completed intense workouts on the treadmill, swam and listened in on a host of lectures. Among the speakers were; a Yale admissions officer, nutritionist, chiropracter and two Olympians.
"I learned so much from the speakers, such as how running is 80% mental; determination and hard work beats talent, and successful people are willing to do what others won’t do," said Frontera, who developed independence by taking the long flight to Colorado by herself. "Also, how important it is to hang around positive people and the types you want to become; it’s not just true for running but everything."
There were still further priceless tidbits Frontera tucked away during her month plus long stay. Especially enjoying the super intense treadmill workout stints, Frontera now sees another option for her training regime. She further hopes to add some new stretches to her pre-running routine.
Improved nutrition will also be a priority.
"I learned good eating habits, like having more protein before a run, don’t skip meals, and eat more frequently," pointed out Frontera.
With her senior cross country season set to start in a few weeks, Frontera now finds herself pondering some of those goals she wants to "put out there and make real." Topping the list is a ticket the elite Footlocker Cross Country National Championships. It’s a goal that might not have even crossed her mind a year or two ago. Thanks to her recent summer camp experience an assortment of possibilities now fill her plate.
"The camp really made me realize running is more important to me than I thought," said Frontera as she glanced at her Team Prep tee-shirt. "I realized how much of an impact it has on my life and just how many doors it can open.