MINNEAPOLIS — Great athletes like Nari Miller are made, not simply born.
"For me, sports was so unexpected – I was more like an artsy kid," Miller said. "I used to draw and everything, I ended up wanting to do sport for college, when you get to ninth grade they're like, 'college is coming up.'"
Miller picked up wrestling, initially because she needed to beef up her resume for college. She said it didn't come naturally at first.
"I dreaded the first month of it, I had never done sports before!" Miller said. "It was so tough, my main goal – I would have to make goals before practice to even you know – to be motivated to finish off. And it just got so much more fun at the end."
And now the Edison High School senior lives, breathes, dreams the sport.
"Wrestling still gives me butterflies," she said. "It still makes me nervous when I go to practice, I'm so in love with the sport it's amazing. I think about it everyday, pray about it at night. Everything I do, I write goals about it, I think about it I dream about it."
Wrestling then led to track for cross training purposes. Then a friend brought her into football. She was the only girl on the team.
"For me, my teammates accepted me more than probably any other team has ever," she said. "So I'm really blessed to have that opportunity for them."
"It's a lot of adrenaline because those boys are big – like they're huge, you know, so it is kind of scary and everything," she continued. "But at the same time, the feeling is so different out of all the sports that I play, nothing gives me the feeling like football, and it's like sad I'll never be able to experience that outside high school."
In terms of being a trailblazer, she said she didn't set out to be one.
"I was just living, I didn't really notice what I was doing was that impactful until like started people started coming up to me, saying 'You do this and you do that,'" she said. "It still is my life at the moment. It's just been natural to me."
"I want to be an Olympian," she continued. "That's my biggest goal right now. I'm trying to just get to the world level, not just national, not just state level, but I definitely – Olympian is my biggest goal at the moment."