The night before the cross-country state race, Olivia Ruiz filmed herself and teammates for her YouTube page, “Running Into Style.” Ruiz always had her routine pre-competition meal. The beets helped her with stamina, albeit she confidently claims it has nothing to do with Dwight Shrute. Nowadays she’s trapped at home because of the pandemic, but the multifaceted young star still finds time to run around her neighborhood and build her YouTube page.
Ruiz runs cross-country in the fall and track and field during the spring for PCC. She recalled being at home when the season was canceled.
“I was really really shocked because I didn’t believe that it was happening,” said Ruiz.
Ruiz was coming off her freshman year on the cross-country team. She gradually improved month by month, finishing 135th place in Sep, 18th in Oct and 5th in Nov. She was the third woman in the last 10 years to reach the All-South Coast Conference First Team. At the end of the season, she was named the MVP of the PCC cross-country team. She followed that up when the track and field season started by finishing first in the women’s 800-meter dash at the Pasadena City College Open.
“I definitely miss my track friends and working out with them, especially because this is some of their last years competing, so I won’t see them next year,” said Ruiz.
Her empathy and compassion doesn’t stop with the graduating sophomores, she also shows empathy for the essential workers. Ruiz obeys the stay-at-home mandate and only leaves the house for 20 to 30 minutes to run every day. Another reason she obeys the stay-at-home mandate is that she not only lives with her immediate family, but she also lives with her grandparents, who are in their 70s. The pandemic has given Ruiz a chance to do more bonding with her grandmother. The two have started sewing medical masks for family members and plan to donate the rest.
“I have family members who are nurses and doctors, and even family members who are first responders so I think about them and their safety,” said Ruiz. “For them to be able to do their jobs, we need to do our part and stay home”.
When she’s not running, staying at home, or sewing medical masks, Ruiz can be found recording her YouTube page. Ruiz started the page in the summer of 2018. It centers around her love of fashion and fitness. The themes range from her brother picking out her outfits for a week to cooking to testing beauty products. One of Ruiz’s favorite episodes, Teaching Slang to my Mom!, her mother is bewildered how the term “flexin” is perceived as a compliment even though it means to show off the stuff you got. All of the episodes are entertaining, nicely edited and her theme song is a nice blend of Ain’t No Sunshine mixed with a hip-hop beat. With 60 episodes and counting, Ruiz isn’t worried about being in the spotlight.
“I just did it for fun so I wasn’t scared about anything and if I do get people who hate on me I’m not someone who gets offended easily,” said Ruiz.
Ruiz grew up playing golf, tennis, soccer, softball and running track. Her love of fashion and sports began at a young age. Ruiz recorded an episode where she took some of her father’s old clothes and reconstructed them into new outfits. One pair of old jeans was remodeled into a top and another pair of workout pants was remodeled into shorts. Now she only has to worry about matching them with her favorite pair of shoes. Luckily, she has options. 54 of them.
“Ever since my brother and I were little we were always in sports, so I guess that’s where fitness came into play,” said Ruiz. “As for fashion, I’ve just always been into it, especially shoes, I love shoes”.
These days Ruiz can be found running to Nonstop by Drake, Girl on Fire by Alicia keys or Going Bad by Drake and Meek Mill. She’s more motivated than ever to break Tracee Van Der Wyk’s 9-year-old record for the women’s 800-meters and to get a scholarship to a division one university.
At the end of her YouTube episodes, Ruiz always leaves her viewers with an uplifting quote.
“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are,” by Max de Pree.
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