"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." -Pre. Cross Country is a sport that requires pushing oneself through immense pain to achieve a goal. I never wanted to go through any of those pains to achieve anything. I used to think that I was going to participate in an after school activity for fun, but then my cross country team won the state championship meet, now I know I can do anything I put my mind to.
Ever since I was little and even now, I have always loved sports that involve running, including track. In middle school when I was in seventh grade, I wanted to participate in track because I knew I would enjoy the sport. Track started in the spring during seventh grade, and the first couple of practices I thought were challenging because of what little practice I had before track had even started. From this point on, I knew I would have to work hard to reach the goals that I wanted to accomplish, and to even get personal records in running so that I could compete in sectional or even state meets that include top runners from every school. I had also kept in mind on what events I wanted to compete in, which were the one hundred meter dash,
Cross country has helped me with my transition from childhood and adulthood by teaching me that success is earned through hard work, determination, and leading by example. That's what I did after my first bad race, I worked hard and continued on my quest and showed my coaches and my teammates that I could lead the
My participation in Cross Country over the past 4 years has influenced me greatly. Particularly in my senior year, it taught me how to work hard, bond with my teammates, and really appreciate the sport. It has influenced my career goals through possibly looking towards a health career, and has bonded me with my family by their support through the season.
And we were off; All 13 of our runners and 55 of theirs exploding off the starting line and across the field. I was in front, I always was for about the first 100 yards, then a wave of runners passed me and I settled in to where I was supposed to be. The light rain hit my face and body as I pushed through the 3.1 mile course. Although I had no shot at winning, I hoped my teammates in front of me were giving it all they had, albeit they most likely weren’t doing much better. After settling into a rhythm, I started to battle with a runner near me.
During my final year of Cross Country around Regionals at Oglethorpe, I ran my final race for my high school career. Banks County was nearly number one in the State, the furthest we had ever ranked in history, and spirit and hopes for State Championship were high. I was nervous, like nobody’s business, I had messed up during my senior night because I was upset for my parents for not showing up and escorting me. And I was scared that I was going to do horribly. But as I ran, I realized that if I let my past mistakes and failures hold me back or get in my way, so I ran, harder and better than I ever had before and apparently even beat a “skinny kid”.
One incident I can recount when I experienced failure was when I joined Cross Country. Since, I can remember I have always excelled at everything I did, from my academics to dance class to music lessons. When I entered into my freshman year of high school, I decided I would to join an athletic team in order to keep myself occupied outside of academics. I figured joining a sport would be another good attribute to add to my resume. Initially, my mind was set to join the soccer team. However, I found out there weren’t any openings available. The only team that had an opening was The Cross Country Team. I was terrified…my parents encouraged me to join as there wasn’t an option not to.
All things in life can be enjoyable but also unexpected. Everyone has their own natural high. My natural high is riding my dirt bike. Even though riding my dirt bike is fun, it can also be very dangerous. It is very important to always wear safety gear while operating an off-road vehicle. Remember to always pay attention to the surroundings.
Next to the roads, where the sidewalks should be, sit large gutters overflowing from the week’s heavy rains. Often covered with plants and weeds or even entirely submerged, the ditches can be treacherous. One missed step and one of us might find ourselves deep inside a drainage canal. As a competitive cross-country runner in Costa Rica, conditions can be perilous on any given day and on any given run. While “cross country” implies running beyond the comforts of a high school track or gymnasium, I doubt that my peers on the Varsity teams in Fairfax, Virginia, where I lived before moving to Costa Rica, regularly dodge crater-sized potholes or run through tropical downpours for months on end. It is out amongst the elements, with the dogs nipping at my heels, cars racing by me, and men riding horses in the streets that I wonder if I would have been the same kind of runner had I grown up in the safe confines of the manicured suburbs of Virginia? Could I or would I have developed the same stamina, mentally and physically?
I have not been able to participate in athletics nearly as much as I would have liked. I started running track in the spring of my seventh grade year. I performed surprisingly well and decided to participate in cross country the next fall. I spent the summer training and preparing for the season, and it definitely showed. I ran in the varsity race for my first cross country meet ever. I was an eighth grade girl who was running the same workouts as the junior and senior boys. My team won the conference meet and I won all conference honors. We went on to place second at the section meet, which earned us a place at the state meet. I earned all section honors myself and missed going to state as an individual by only a few places. At the state meet,
I should have imagined what to do in this scenario, because it was the only one that actually happened. It was the regional meet in Delta. This was the fastest course in the state, as evidenced by the incredible times run there. This meet was the culmination of over six months of work, physical therapy, and weightlifting. So far throughout the season,
With my relay team stretched,warmed up, and ready to go, we headed towards the stadium where we would race against the fastest girls in the nation. Intimidated but not deterred we headed out of Tent City and into the gates of Turner Stadium. Knowing this was my last race I would run with my close friends and relay team, being it 's the last race of the season and we all weren’t going to be in the same age group next year, I had a whole new mind set. I was constantly thinking, “we have to make top ten because we can make top ten.” “We have the times, we have the strength, we have the speed, we just need to have the guts to walk in there like we are going to shred the track into pieces.
At my second mile, I was in 36th place and the coach had a worried face. At this point, I started to give up. I started coughing, had a runny nose, and was gasping for air. I finished the race in 36th place with a time of 19:44. I was exhausted and sad that the season was over, but I knew that I had one more season left to make it to
Speeding up At the beginning of the cross country season I hated cross country absolutely hated it, I would walk down the hallway of saline middle school look at all of the pictures on the wall and saw some of kids running and thought why is My mom doing this to me? I thought I was a terrible at it, I would run like a 9 or 10 minute mile. So when the school year came along I dreaded the end of the day I would look at the clock and think a tiny bit longer, please just a wee longer (and that is very very rare.) When the season began I had a lot of trouble, whether it was keeping up or if it was breathing problems, and My friend Zaske (who was and still is much faster than me) was nice enough that instead of going up with all the faster kids he stayed back with me, but even when he was going his slowest I still had trouble keeping up he would try to encourage me by saying “come on Michael just a little faster,” and I would respond with “i'm…
Getting off the bus, I was ecstatic. It was my chance to help my team in achieving our biggest goal. For fall, the day was particularly hot and humid. I enjoy running in cool, chilly type weather, so the heat was a conflicting factor in my race. But I refused to let the heat bring me down.