Name: Hector Napoleon Solis

Social Media Handle/Username: hectorr_ssoliis

Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: Hello, my name is Hector Solis and I am a long distance runner/student-athlete hailing from the South Texas region between the U.S. Mexico border. I was not originally from Texas as my family and I moved from Douglas, Georgia when I was 2-3 years of age. I never thought (coming from a multi-sport culture of a family) that long distance running/athletics was for me. It was always the common ball sports: football, soccer, baseball, basketball… anything to make a name for the family. Common household names from around this area were those that worked in the local political system with ties to a certain sport. I digress, I picked up running at its upcoming popularity; around middle-school is when we had legends like Westly Keating from the PSJA North (local highschool) class of 2000 with a legacy built in the district as well as a fresh face Cruz Gomez who was a force to be wrecking with. I only remember racing Cruz twice or three times and everytime I was inspired to run him down after receiving a minute or thirty second gap. Something about running and my physicality/mentality felt right because I didn’t have to be part of a travel team to be good, all it took was a couple weeks to a full year of motivation + consistency to be great at my craft. Nevertheless, the ideals I explain now is what I have stuck with and I have seen an incline in performance. Neither the food i consume or the techniques of recovery are unique or unorthodox but the ethic to which I put one foot in front of the other is what made my name a household one in the tri-city area. I do it for the community because there is a lot of unseen talent that comes from the valley- whether it be academic or athletic, my goal was clear from the start: create opportunities for the economically/geologically disadvantaged to have the same chance as a runner with a stable economic outlook and geological training ground. The journey was as close to a story book as it gets. Finishing 4th in my state after being denied the year prior due to mental health issues and the years prior to that as I was still developing this career. I see a vision as clear as day now, running, whether I have many more years to this or not, is an investment in my life that I would not give up.

What Inspires You Every day? : The community, my family, my coaches, and peers that I see day in and day out give me another unique purpose as to why I need to get better at my craft. They harbored me at my worst and supported me through my best when they did not have to. I feel it is worthwhile to invest back into the culture that started the hype to my daily routine of a career.

What is some words of wisdom you live by?: Do what you love and it will not feel at all like a job. I lived by that since the beginning, neglected it- but once I connected to it just recently, I have felt unstoppable ever since.

What is your ultimate goal in life? : My ultimate goal in life is to leave earth knowing I served my nation, community, and culture through my craft. What it is worth is representing the Pharr, Texas, United States, and Mexico as a whole. Not divided. This has been my objective since my freshman year of high-school and will continue to be my plan rolling into my Division 1 collegiate career and soforth.

How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : The pandemic was a barrier at first since it posed as an obstacle for my third season with the PSJA North Raiders as a 3rd season captain looking toward 4 executive years. This put so much pressure to perform in the face of adversity and to become a model for those who did not have one. It negatively impacted my mental health- leading me to pull out of the State Cross Country Championships as well as leading to an injury for the following year. It also taught me that patience in training, recovery, and taking this man-made challenge to the next level is a task that requires time and awareness.

What is a message you would like to give others? : I would like to spread the message that pursuing what you love will be a roller coaster of emotions but never give in to the bad days and celebrate the better days. Life only gets better with experience and age. Times change and change is normal it’s what matures the soul. One crucial message is also no human is limited.

What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: I would like to mention that I did not have the economic resources nor the geological luxury that others have, so it is possible to be the greatest with the cards you are dealt.

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