“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle or last. You can say, ‘ I finished’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that” - Fred Lebow. I began cross country in eighth grade shortly after my brother joined the year before. He enjoyed it a lot, so I thought it would be fun. I’ve been on the team for two years. I would like to run for the rest of my life. Cross country changed my life positively forever. It taught me to push myself past what I thought was my limit. It revealed to me a great community of people and it taught me to leave my comfort zone.
I’ve always had a desire for running and when I heard Richland Center High had a Cross Country team, I knew I wanted to be on it! When I did start, it was tough. There were times my sanity would ask, “ WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU
The Mendocino Coast offers beautiful exercise opportunities. I enjoy walking, hiking and being outside but I have a busy life and don’t always have time to exercise. I keep my shoes, hat and water in the car so I can stop and hike at any location that looks inviting. I look for a beautiful area with hills that will increase my heart rate in a short amount of time. Running hills or stairs outside in nature gives you an interval training workout along with a meditative breath of fresh air.
Every runner wore a bib number with the time they start on it. As I was running people were passing me who had started after me, and I kept thinking I was going too slow and that I shouldn’t be taking this long to complete it. Through words of encouragement from my mom and decipline mentras from myself I finished the race, I crosses the fanish line and the feeling of triumph as I crossed it was something I’ll never forget.
Since kindergarten, I grew up watching my older siblings play sports and track has always caught my interest. I was fast runner and everybody knew it and I just couldn’t wait until I could do track in middle school. During middle school, I got even faster, I was at my
I ran my first race when I was 12 years old. It was a 5K in Fargo, North Dakota, that I completed with my father. I competed in cross country and track for six years. I was the varsity cross country captain from 10th to 12th grade and I look back on those years fondly. During my senior year of track in high school, I fractured my fibula during a 4 by 800 meter relay race and as a result decided not to pursue competing at the collegiate level. Despite the absence of competition, I still run as a hobby as much as I can. It is a big part of my life and provides me with opportunities for meditating and developing self-discipline.
It all started in August on my first day of 6th grade where I came out for the cross country season not knowing what I was about to get myself into. My dad said I had to either get a job or do sports in school, so I chose to do a sport because what 13 year old would want to get a job anyway? Soon after the first week of practice was over, I was running as the number two runner. Staying as the number one and two runner as the rest of my middle school years, almost breaking the school record and being named “top dog” I
I’m not going to lie, I was so nervous standing in front of my coach, but as he had introduced himself I knew I wasn’t going to be a—quitter. Though I’m not the slimmest of all runners, I was going to prove to myself and to everyone else that a chubby girl like me can run!
Ever since i’d moved to John McCrae Senior Public School in grade 5 it had been my dream to compete in the 100 meter sprint at Birchmount Stadium. So when the opportunity to qualify to go to Birchmount was approaching I didn’t leave it up to fate. I trained for a week to make sure that I was ready for the tryout.
I remember the first year i did track, i was a freshman unaware of how this sport would change my life for the better. When I was born I was diagnosed with asthma, a respiratory condition that causes difficulty in breathing. I figured i would try track and see just how it affected my respiratory system. Practice was a constant battle for me, breathing twice as hard as everyone else. Giving it my all as i could feel my chest getting tighter
I remember when I turned five, something in my mother’s head clicked. She wanted me to join track. I did not understand the point of running just to reach the finish line. Other sports like football, soccer, etc. have something to run for, but what does track have to run for? Yes, it’s to reach that finish line, but what is that going to do for me? That was the first thought that came to my seven-year-old self. Let’s just say for the first couple years my thoughts about running were far from being changed.
When I was on the track team I was always the last one to finish and my brothers made fun of me for it. Compared to everyone else I felt like a turtle racing against a cheetah. I just wasn’t a sprinter and I couldn’t jump, so running track wasn’t for me. The one thing I did have though was determination. When I did not want to run anymore because I didn't
I started getting involved with running my senior year of high school. This was a very terrifying time in my life because I was running with people who have been doing this their whole life, which is quite intimidating when you’re new to the process. The reason why I gave running a chance was the constant begging from my younger and older sisters. They both ran and thought this was something I could potentially be marvelous at. I gave running a shot and ended up accomplishing my goal of being on varsity my senior year. Running is something that I’m genuinely passionate about and also something I’m literate in. I use running as my literacy practices whenever I’m at practices, a meet, or for therapeutic reasons.
Running my first 5k, I was ecstatic that I could maintain a jogging pace the whole time, now, 7 years later I find myself setting a personal record of 21:23 on the exact same course that I ran that first race. In fifth grade, through Girls on the Run, I was introduced to the activity that, today, acts as my physical, emotional, and spiritual sanctuary: running. Furthermore, partaking in this program truly taught me not just the method behind running, but also the madness. Throughout every practice that was held I became increasingly exposed to the euphoria and triumph that can only be found through running. Additionally, I was able to discover a truly remarkable community of people who took running as a joy not a chore.