Perseverance: How Never Giving up Helps a Freshman

Elkhorn North High School student describes a can’t-stop, no-quitter attitude that helps with day-to-day passions and activities.

Perseverance: How Never Giving up Helps a Freshman

Photo by Courtesy of Landon Mahnke

Reserved and resourceful freshman Landon Mahnke credits his initiative and persevering attitude for being able to participate in long-distance running and helping around the house. 

Long-distance track athlete Mahnke runs for his school team and describes running, along with his love for taking things apart and putting them back together, as his main passions. As of the 2020-2021 school year, he is a freshman at ENHS, and is a loud and clear representation of the discipline and focus many wish they had.

When asked who was the one who introduced him to his passion of fixing things up, Mahnke said, “Myself.”

Mahnke has a hobby of taking apart or repairing household items like beds, TVs, and sinks. Originating from having to move into an older house two years ago, he helped take apart and put together furniture and machines, which sparked his passion for being handy.

Out of the house, Mahnke also runs for the ENHS track team as a long-distance athlete. The track meets he attends are long and grueling.

“Well first there’s the field events,” Mahnke said, “which are the throwers, jumpers, and stuff. Then the running events happen. And that usually lasts five hours. I have one of the first events, so that will start two hours after the field events start.”

He’s also no stranger to healthy, strict diets as a part of being an athlete.

“Sometimes I would eat grains, fruits and vegetables every single night,” Mahnke said. “I like salad, and fruits like strawberries and stuff. But my favorite food to eat is macaroni and cheese.”

The longest distance he’s run was a half-marathon, or 13 miles.

“There were around four miles left and my legs were just so bad,” Mahnke said. “I really wanted to sit down for a second and catch my breath for a little bit, because I was sore and my legs felt really stiff, but I didn’t. I just kept on pushing and I finished.”

He expresses a sense of resilience and initiative that not only relates to being a long-distance runner, but also back to fixing knick knacks around the house. 

When asked what’s the most complicated item he’s fixed, he responded that it was a water heater.

The machine in question took him three days to finish, and he recounted not sleeping for 24 hours in an attempt to finish fixing it in one sitting. He expresses a similar sense of perseverance in running.

“In running I don’t like to give up. Some people I see walking when we’re running long distances, I just don’t like to see it, because you can even just jog really slow. You don’t have to be walking. I don’t like to give up; I don’t like to watch other people give up.”