Sam Yeager has lived a rich life full of sports and travel

Sam Yeager has lived a rich life full of sports and travel

At the ripe age of fourteen, freshman Sam Yeager has lived an extraordinary life.

The lengthy list of accomplishments and once-in-a-lifetime experiences began when he was only several months old, and since then, it has continued to grow the further he has gone into high school. The key to it all, though? Humility.

“It’s just my personality,” Sam said, chuckling at the audacity of the question, “how do you stay humble?” “I know I’m not the best, and it’s something I’ve learned from moving a bunch of times. I’ve played soccer, gone to states, run in different places, but there’s always someone better. It’s easier to stay humble.”

As a naturally gifted athlete, his current sports came easily and quickly to him. Near the beginning of his rapidly escalating running career, Sam was tentative about the idea because of the unfamiliarity of it. However, his instant talent and connection to running led to many new opportunities for Sam when he lived in New Mexico a couple years back, including going to the junior Olympics and getting second in New Mexico states for running.

“In New Mexico, some of my friends from soccer asked me to go to the Junior Olympics, and I got to run there,” Sam said, nonchalantly. “It was an interesting few weeks. I got asked the question, ‘Do you want to run on our team?’ Before that, I had only really run through soccer. But running is such a different sport. I wasn’t used to running all the time. It changed my perspective about what I wanted to do. I didn’t think I would do that well, but once I got there, I really felt it– the adrenaline. It just happened.”

In the two years that he’s been running, Sam has packed a lot of experiences in. His long-distance running career began out of the blue simply as an effort to limit the grocery list of soccer-related injuries, ranging from sprained ankles and wrists to countless concussions. Long-distance running soon became the sport in which he proved to have endless potential and drive.

Through running, soccer, and swimming alike, Sam has developed a go-getter attitude toward training and performing, something he’s picked up both from his role models and from having instinctual competitiveness. His persistence with his goals has led to improvement in his sports and the development of his passions.

“Always trying to be the best and trying to go for the win [are things that motivate me],” Sam said. “Not everything is going to go your way, so if you are in a sport and you think you’re going to make a team but you don’t make it, it’s fine. You’ve got next year. You have to keep going at it.”

Besides being a natural athlete, travel has played a major role in his life, whether it be through his many moves across the country or through family vacations. Although each move came with its difficulties, Sam’s character, passions, and relationships have been strongly developed as a result.

“I’ve been to over 45 states now,” Sam said. “When I was younger, we used to travel a lot. I think when I was 10 months or 8 months, we traveled to Alaska, which I obviously don’t remember. But looking at the past through pictures, I can tell we used to do that a lot. I feel like that helped with how I move a lot, going to new places, and it’s hard if you live in one place and move to somewhere totally different.”

The difficulty in moving is that Sam has had to constantly adapt to his surroundings, with teams, schools, and friends, making him a “chameleon” of sorts. Like anything in life, though, moving was a combination of both positives and negatives. It isn’t something he would ever change about his life, and in the end, Sam ended up where he and his family needed and wanted to be.

“I love the people in Michigan,” Sam said. “The people here are so nice. I’ve been to a new school five different times in the last couple of years. I’ve become better at meeting new people, but also it hurts because I don’t want to become good friends with them and then just have to move. [Fortunately], I’m staying in Michigan for high school.”

Now, Sam can finally set down his roots for his school, social life, and different teams. His ability to achieve every goal he sets his mind to is something that will take him far. No dream is too big for him; to him, it’s simply an opportunity to better himself. Despite this lavish and experiential life he’s lived, however, everything in his life he holds with open hands and profound humility.

“Be disciplined,” Sam said. “Don’t be that one kid that shows off; be the freshman. In middle school, I used to be the fastest, the best; but when you go to high school, there’s going to be better, stronger, faster people than you.”