The last words you’d hear from sophomore cross country runner Michal Idziak are, “I’m going home for the weekend.”
Idziak, a criminology major, traveled to the United States from Mosina, Poland to make his dreams come true. One day, he said, he wants to become an Olympic runner. In Poland, Idziak attended the Fork Union Military Academy, which is an all-boys, private Baptist school. He was there for the last two years of his high school career.
“The school system in Poland is different then it is here,” he said. “There are three years in middle school and three in high school as well.”
Idziak started running in 2004 when he was 12-years-old. He was spotted by one of the physical education teachers, who saw potential and suggested that he run in a local cross country meet. Idziak showed up to the meet and made a bold statement with his performance.
“I placed 2nd overall, and that was out of all the other kids, not just the ones in my age group,” he said.
His career as a runner took off and he quickly became a force to be reckoned with. Idziak consistently placed in the top 10 in the 800-meter run, with a consistent time of 1:53. When he was 15, he became the Polish national champion in the 1000-meter run, with a time of 2:32.
“This was my first big accomplishment, and it meant a lot to me that all of my hard work was paying off,” he said.
The time for college came and Idziak had no
qualms about where he wanted to be.
“I knew I wanted to be in Texas,” he said. “I watched a lot of western movies.”
The warm weather, proximity to the beach and Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s (TAMUK) amenities were selling points when it was time to choose a school. He was impressed by the diversity and enjoyed that aspect of TAMUK.
I also didn’t want to be in a Division 1 program
because I wanted to be known and to shine,” he said.
Though Idziak did find disappointment in that there weren’t woods, hills or trails to do his road runs, he still finds joy in the small things, such as what cereals are available here on campus.
“They have Frosted Flakes. I love them. You get a little sugar, then that crunchy corn flavor going on,” he said.
In the future, Idziak said he hopes to work for one of the major police departments in the country in New York or Los Angeles. For now, when he isn’t running, he can be found in his room skyping with his girlfriend who is still in Poland.
Idziak said he loves meeting people from all walks of life. One thing he always remembers to keep in mind is that everyone is equal.
“Ola muie kazdy jest nowwy nodzimy sia pred Bobiem z tym samym potencjolem nie powolwy sie prypisy wac stereotype,” he said, which means “for me, everyone is equal and we are all born in God’s eyes having the same potential. We cannot let others stereotype us.