Running towards the challenge


Gina Nguyen

Arnoldus (right) challenges herself in all aspects of her life.

Boatner Calhoun, Sports Editor

Linda Arnoldus, a senior at MSMS, holds the position of this year’s captain of the Lady Waves Cross Country team. Coming from Starkville High School, the transition to MSMS was a considerable shift in daily life for her, yet a positive one. Having run since seventh grade, she was drawn to MSMS in the same way she was drawn to running: by the challenge. 

The change in scenery allowed Arnoldus not only to branch out, exploring new interests and passions, but also to further explore areas she had an interest in. One such area that MSMS allowed her to further explore is physics.

“At [Starkville], I was just getting into physics,” Arnoldus said. “I only took one physics course there and that is when I started to love it, but [at MSMS], I have had so many more opportunities. I have had the opportunity to research at the [Mississippi State University] Aerospace Department and take higher-level Physics courses. So it kinda just solidified my interest in it.”

Arnoldus is a part of many different clubs such as Film Club, Astronomy Club, Yearbook, and Physics Club. She is also a co-leader of W.I.L.L. or Women Influencing Lives through Literature. Through W.I.L.L., Arnoldus spends time reading and talking books with female role models to young women at Columbus Middle school.

“I think it is is really empower young females,” Arnoldus said. “Just to give young women role models because sometimes there’s a lack of role models in the media.”

Being involved in so many activities, Arnoldus pointed out that staying on top of everything can be difficult with the stress and time commitments becoming too much to handle if not properly managed.

“I think a lot of people choose to do a few things and excel in them. I’m the type of person who likes to do everything I can, and I also expect myself to excel in them. I think that sometimes I hold myself to unrealistic expectations,” Arnoldus explained. “[At MSMS] I have really had to teach myself to actually give myself permission to relax.”

Between early morning meditation, yoga, writing poetry, and drinking copious amounts of tea, Arnoldus has found different ways to keep her busy schedule balanced, running especially.

“I see running as something to strengthen my physical self but also my mental self”

Having been one of two girls on the Lady Waves Cross Country team last year, maintaining the motivation of her teammates is her foremost goal for the year.

“Running by nature is a really tiring sport. It can be hard to not lose motivation. It can be really easy to give up. Always having a smile on my face through practice and just doing what I can to keep up team motivation is what being captain means to me.” 

After graduation, Arnoldus plans to study astrophysics in college and move onto working in that field. “Maybe by then I’ll be good at math,” Arnoldus said. “Hopefully, in ten years, I will be working for a company like SpaceX or NASA or… no, actually, only those two.” Arnoldus is confident that she can achieve her dreams, because if running has taught her anything, it is that she can do whatever she sets her mind to, no matter how impossible it seems.

“I remember, at the finish line, it was a song by Big Sean playing in my ears,” Arnoldus said, recounting her first half-marathon. “I saw my mom [at the finish]. It was this uphill type ending. I remember finishing and just thinking, like, wow, if I can do this then I can do anything.”