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Simone Willis ‘20 runs to escape the constant thought of whether or not she will be able to go live back in Illinois.

 

As she laces up her pink Nike lunar solos, size 6½, takes a deep breath and runs. The breeze that first hits her face when she starts running just makes her want to keep running until she just can’t any more.

Simone Willis ’20 lived in Illinois until the summer before seventh grade. It was a hard  for her to have to leave her friends behind, but she had to no choice. Willis’s family moved to Iowa to get become closer to her distant family. “[My mom] got a job up here so she decided we’d move.” Since their grandmother passed away, moving to Iowa was brought  into consideration.

Since then, Willis still misses her home back in Illinois and dearly wishes to go back . She likes it much better in Illinois. She says “the community there is bigger and there’s more things to do”..

Willis also said that she seems to be closer to her dad’s side of the family back in Illinois.

“The people are more fun to be honest,” says Willis.

But her mother doesn’t agree fully “ My parents just feel like it’s a better environment here in Iowa,” says Willis

Willis said that now her parents are seeing different things as they are now living here “My mom is just now realizing Iowa City is turning into something it shouldn’t,” say Willis, jokingly referencing the recent shootings in the ped mall. Willis says her mother’s not fore all of this happening when they just left Illinois. She also mentions that they were thinking about going to Michigan before the thought of Iowa.

“We were supposed to live in Michigan because my dad has always wanted to live in a college town,” said Willis.

Instead they chose to move here in Iowa City.  As she has been living here, she has adapted to Iowa because she can’t go back and live in Illinois by herself making adapting kind of a must for her.

To get away from always wondering if she’ll soon go back, Willis has a passion for running. At first, it was because her mother made her try out a new sport, but now Willis has learned to love it.

“I don’t want to do track competitively. I mean, I enjoy the concept of runner I just don’t want to do it competitively,” she said. “I like doing my own thing with running and not having to run around a track a certain amount of times but like exploring while running not circling a track five thousand times.”

Willis loves to run to escape any stress she had that day, but just hates the part were she’s told she has to do this and that while running. Willis likes to just run freely because that’s when she enjoys the most.  

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