The 5th Lap is about breaking barriers to achieve short term and long term goals. This could apply to everyday life. Manuel Ruiz, against all odds achieved the ultimate American Dream. He came to this country without knowing the language and lived at the time in the gang-infested streets of North Hills only with his older brother. His parents lived in Mexico City. Manuel Ruiz enrolled in High School as a 17-year-old. He graduated high school within three years with a 4.0 grade point average and also became the 7th best High School runner in the country when he ran 8 minutes 55 seconds for two miles at the Arcadia track and field invitational in April, 2003. He achieved this by also having to work to support himself to eat and pay rent. He ran for Cal State Northridge on a full athletic scholarship where in 2007 he graduated with Honors. Manuel Ruiz, with his strong work ethic, dedication, consistency and determination was able to run his 8 minutes and 55 seconds in the two-mile by breaking the 5th lap barrier. I always told him the 5th lap was the key in running a two-mile very well. The 5th lap wasn't the only barrier he broke to achieve the ultimate American dream.
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