Imagine this. On a Monday morning around 9:30, it was that time of year again: Fitness testing week and it was the day where we took the hardest, most physically painful test, also known as running the mile. The first lap seemed pretty easy to run but towards the end of the second lap, finishing the other two laps seemed impossible, so I just wanted to just walk it from there, when all of a sudden, a rush of energy came over me, allowing me to run a good 10 minute mile. Although I did want to give up and walk the rest of the mile, I pushed through it and managed to jog the whole time, making the reward of finishing sooner feel even better.
We finished the season with one loss and we went into the tournament with our first game against Republic and we won pretty easy. We played against Bothwell in the final in Marquette. I was really nervous as I can remember and it was really hot in the gym. The game started and we were up by 4 at halftime. The second half started
It was easy, we had won 4-1. It was a sweep, I scored a goal, and then tyler scored 3. Our next opponent was Watertown. Everytime we play them it is like a WWE fighting match. I don’t even think people care for the ball, they want to hit someone as hard as they can.
The team performed our usual routine; fifteen minute warm-up, body exercises and cheered on the boys running before our race. Everything was in place, I thought. We lined up on the line, exchanged phrases of luck and prepared for the gun. The gun went off and our feet flew down the field. Upper Darby would succeed in our goal, I felt
Even though we lost, that final moment that I jogged off the field, every one of my teammates smiled, and gave me a high five. As I gathered my things, I went over to my family. “You did an amazing job for your first time!” They all say in unison. Making it seem like it was rehearsed.
On a good day you 're mediocre, on a day like today, you 're horrific. That race, and the world-shattering heartbreak that followed, forever changed the way I saw running. I discovered that even hard work is not always invincible at the hands of fate.
Despite the newspapers and previews saying we would not contend for the state title that year, I kept in my head that anything could happen. Going into the year I told our team “lets focus on what we can do to improve, and not worry about anyone else”. At the beginning, other teams were too strong for our inexperienced runners to compete with, but we didn’t change the focus. Practice after practice, I made sure we were doing everything we could to be at our best for the end of the year. I didn’t care what other teams were doing because we had no control over that.
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”.
The course was muddy and slippery and damp. I knew that the last runners who were going qualify to state were going to run a nineteen-minute race. While other teams were practicing and warming up, my team was playing in the playground. From what I’ve been through this week, I know I wasn’t going to make it to state, but I still wanted to know how close I would be .The teams were called to the starting line and I was nervous.
I had plenty of time to think about my runs considering that Rock Springs is 15 long hours away. Once we got there is when all the nerves started to get me. I found out when I drew up and it just happened to be Sunday night and Saturday morning which meant I had almost a full week to see my competition go. It also meant I only had two days to mentally prepare myself. On Saturday morning I got up early and worked Fancy one last time before the round that night.
Hundreds of people in the crowd all chanted “Starlites! Starlites!” the music pounded in our ears. What made us the most nervous, however, were the other teams, from all over the country, their eyes burning into us, watching our every move. Many of the teams were composed of girls from different racial ethnic backgrounds.
I watched the team as they celebrated their victory with the fans. I watched the players hug each other and cry with tears of joy. " So that 's what it would feel like to go to the state tournament," I heard myself say. As they continued to celebrate, I sat there wondering about the team and what kind of players contributed to their success.
This was the first race that I experienced the difficulty of being a runner. I had placed 17 and had the worst race of my short career, My older brother placed third and was thanked by coaches, parents, and teammates for leading the team to an outstanding victory. My second oldest brother was captain of the team and was always relied on to lead the team. Watching my brother during my first season of cross country taught me a lot about leadership. After I started cross country I learned about the leadership and experienced failure.
Our cross country teams won our first meet of the season, but there is more to the story than just the two trophies we brought back. It was an extremely unpleasant race for three different reasons. Our meet was in Snyder, Texas. As soon as we pulled up, I knew the course was not going to be the least bit enjoyable. The entire course was dirt; it was very dry and dusty.
We won some games, and we lost games, but we did it together. In the beginning of the season, rumors of doubt spread about our team being too short, or not good enough. A Lewistown High School team had not won a Regional Championship since the year 2002, but against all doubts, I knew my team could win. Not only had I seen their mistakes, along with my own, throughout this season, but I also watched them grow as athletes and individuals.