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. Nothing was extraordinary about my life. I was just a normal ninth grader on the junior varsity cross country team. My times were not that great, so I had no intention of running varsity at all. We had a Saturday meet at Walker, but only the top seven varsity girls were going to compete.
It couldn’t be! I had torn my hamstring! This was my senior year and final meet; nothing, not even a tore hamstring would prevent me from the opportunity I have wanted since my freshman year. The gun went off to announce the start of the race and I just immediately took off. At that moment, there was no pain only motivation.
She did an absolutely wonderful job of creating this time period with just her words and it’s one of my favorite things about this book. The As a boy, Louie Zamperini was always in trouble, but with the help of his older brother, he turned his life around and channeled his energy into running. He set his first record in high school, “He ran a field of milers off their feet, stopping the watches in 5:03. Three seconds faster than Pete’s record.”(17) He moved on from high school and set his eyes on the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Louie “lived and breathed the 1,500 meters and Berlin.”(22) Louie couldn’t get into what he could do best which was the 1,500 meters because “he couldn’t force his body to improve quickly enough to catch his older rivals by summer.
Have you ever ran in a cross country meet? I have ran in countless cross country meets; I have been running cross country for eight years now. Every race I run is a challenge, no matter what, because I push by body to its limit. Most people do not consider cross country to be fun. The enjoyable part is definitely not the race itself, but the feeling afterwards knowing that I kept pushing myself when my body and mind were both telling me to stop.
The Bears got themselves out of trouble and Burgess made his old team mates pay, charging through the line to dash 60 metres for his hat trick. Levido added the extras and it was 20 points to 2 at half time. Wyong were literally running up hill the second half, three converted tries behind the Bears and Morrie Breen Oval slopes from north to south made the job hard. The Roos had the majority of the ball early in the second half but could not convert into points. It was a different story for North’s though, scoring their fifth try thanks to Latrell Robinson backing up Sitveni Moceidreke to score right in front.
From there, it was on to the divisional meet where we would run against every team in Western Massachusetts. Despite our regular season success, every prediction article written about the race had us finishing 5th or 6th, and not qualifying for State. Instead of getting down because of the pessimistic predictions, we used them as fuel to motivate us. Before the race, my teammates and I analyzed every team to figure out which teams and which runners we needed to beat in order to secure that 3rd place
I could hear voices, but I could not articulate any words. I ignored the pull of gravity and the screaming of my body and lunged forward. All the while the only thought I could produce was, “Why am I doing this?” I started cross-country freshman year. In middle school, I had played on the school football team. But being 5 foot 5 inches tall and ninety pounds, did not really equate to football.
I decided that I was going to run cross country in the fall, something I never even considered before. The first week of practise, I anticipated dreading going on the long runs and suffering through difficult workouts. Instead, what found was the most supportive group of people in my school and even more surprising I discovered my love of running. Now in my senior year of high school, I have become a dedicated runner who finds enjoyment in the pain of pushing yourself to the limit. Cross Country has taught me many lessons such as the importance of commitment and determination, however the lesson that stands out is the importance of being open to new opportunities and overcoming obstacles.
Like last year the wild card game for the pirates which I went to, we got shut down by the Cub’s pitcher and didn’t post one run the whole game. Or in 2010 when the Steelers made it all the way to the super bowl only to lose to the Green Bay Packers. The Steelers had a ball on the 20 yards line driving down and they lost. I really thought they were going to have another miracle win in the super bowl. The 2008-09 Pitt Panthers, ranked #4 in the nation, gave the University its best chance at a National
Years later one Sunday morning, Jacob did not see his favorite running back on the field. He went online to several sports websites, and the breaking news was that this running back had been accused of domestic abuse and had been suspended for two games. Two games later, the running back returned to the game like nothing had happened. He never received a sentence from the courts. Jacob felt torn, he felt happy the player came back to the game because it meant his team would have a better chance of winning, but he felt uneasy about feeling happy a player got away with domestic abuse.
I leaped as high as I could and unfortunately missed the tip the game was already heading south but the game had just started so we had no worries. The first quarter had several lead changes we both had bad shooting quarters shooting below the 30% but that wasn’t what mattered we were all worried about looking good as a team and winning the game not individual stats. About ¾ of the way through the first quarter our coach called a timeout and called us to the sideline and said “Guys you are a great group of kids and have made my coaching experience beyond expectable and you are a bright group of kids so after this season I’ll be retiring and making sure I go out with bang so win this game for me!” and that’s when the game took a drastic change, we began to play with our heart not just our