I have recently become very passionate about the sport of running. In the past every sport I’ve tried, I’ve never been the best at. I've played almost every sport imaginable, from dancing, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, competitive cheerleading, horseback riding, lacrosse, swimming, and now to running cross country and track. I've always just been the one on the team who did nothing and was in all honesty just there to observe. Don't get me wrong I've always tried as hard as I could, but never succeeded. My junior year of high school one of my friends came to me and asked if I would join the cross country team. I looked at her as if she were actually going insane. At the time I could barely run a half mile, and probably would have cried at the idea of running five
“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.
For the past three years I’ve been a part of a team that has shaped me into the person I am today. The John Hay cross country team has given me qualities that genuinely made me a better person such as being confident, disciplined, motivated, and a leader. Not only did running help me express these attributes, it also saved my life.
I was born to run. I adore the feeling of aching legs, winded breath, and the absolute joy of knowing I have accomplished something so utterly momentous: winning a race. When I run, I feel strong and vivacious both on the inside and on the outside. Last year, I decided to join the high school cross-country team. I was extremely excited and could not wait for practice to begin, but I was also somewhat nervous. What if I was not talented enough? What if my skills were not competent enough? What if the coaches thought I was just… mediocre? I was so nervous, I began to doubt and feel dubious about my running potentiality.
I am a runner. One who strives for greatness at every moment and doesn’t give in when things get tough. I have aspirations, dreams, and goals which I will stop at nothing to achieve. Unfortunately for me, the life of a runner is filled with challenges and setbacks and only the best will learn to push through the adversity. My defining moment was the summer before my Junior year, 2016. I had set the goal of becoming All-State in Cross Country, meaning placing in the top 25 of all the runners in the state meet. This is, of course, a prestigious title to have, but I had faith in myself. For the first time in my life, I finally understood that preparation is key and if I fail to prepare, I should prepare to fail
“Now everybody turn to your left, now your right. I see, and you all see an abundance of members, but by the end of season this team will not be this big. Not because of my fault, but because of your own inability to want to work hard and improve. Some of you will finish this season and some of you will say, ‘I quit.’ You determine your fate. Welcome to the Monmouth-Roseville Cross Country team. I’m your coach Samuel, but you can call me Sam.” I had finally met my coach.
Over the course of my high school cross country career, I have made it to state twice and onto varsity my sophomore, junior, and senior year. But those successes did not happen overnight. Sore muscles, blistered feet, and gruesome practices were just a few of the obstacles that challenged me. Furthermore, our team was known
The coat of armor I adorned, made of down feathers and a nylon shell, yielded no protection against the daggers of that cold winter air. As I peered out toward the horizon, I saw nothing but tree tops, and some snow capped mountain tops in the distance. With my feet bound to freshly waxed skis, the only thing stronger than my ski poles was my determination to get down the mountain.
I was a really good in 2nd and 3rd grade and one day I ran the mile. After that, my mom asked me if I wanted to do cross country and I said, “yes, I do!!!” So, today I am at a cross country meet in eighth grade and I am about to run a race. Also, in 7th grade I was always in front of Owen.
Cross country is a sport that can change the way people see themselves. I can only say this statement because I have been affected by this myself. During this satisfying sport I would constantly find myself lost in the moment. Not realizing how much this sport has meant to myself. Now that I have seen just about everything this sport has to offer I can relive some of the valuable life lessons that cross country has taught me.
The final seconds of a cross country meet when you are sprinting down the straight away, looking at the finish line, trying to beat just one more person, is one of the most mentally and physically exhausting moments I’ve ever encountered. In the Fall of 2014 things just clicked with our girls cross country team. Winning Bi-county, Conference, Sectional, and advancing to Regional and Semi-state, was unexpected to everyone around us. Losing five of our seven varsity runners the year before got us moved from our small school rank of 3rd to 13th. Getting moved ten spots on that list motivated us even more to prove to everyone what we could do without those graduated seniors.
Cross Country is one of the hardest sports out there. That may be a biased opinion, but in my experience it is true. Only certain people are willing to put themselves through such physical and mental pain for a race that is less than 30 minutes. I am a very driven person. When I want to do something, I set a goal and I work towards it until I have achieved it. That’s why cross country is such a satisfying sport for me. It’s hard--harder than anything I’ve ever done--but it’s so much more rewarding when you look back and see how much progress you’ve made. Cross country may seem like an individual sport, and it can be, but to succeed, you need your whole team’s effort. I have learned that not everyone is as driven as I am. Few people are willing to put in the hard work in practice to do well at meets.
Both Ryan, a freshman who is smart and tries to stay positive, and Riley, another freshman who always does stuff before he thinks, were walking home from Pacifica high school when they heard Sawyer calling their names. He was also a freshman at pacifica, but always thinks logically and like the other two he was on the cross-country team. "I heard something when I walked by the abandoned school," he said nervously. When they went to look at what was going on they both heard and could see nothing.
A time when I accomplished something by continuing to try even when success did not appear imminent was when I thought I was not going to get my varsity letter in Northview Cross country after NLL's even though I did not exactly break 18 minutes and 30 seconds for a 5K. In the NLL race I knew from the start I had to stay relaxed, race people, and not go out to fast so I am not dead after the first mile. So I went out towards to top pack and stayed tough with the other runners as long as I could. When I approached the final 400 meters I did an all out sprint allowing me to pass 3 runners giving me a time of 18 minutes and 35 minutes. I felt proud of this accomplishment and even happier when my coach said "I think you are going to get your
I approached that year’s conditioning with a pessimistic attitude and wondered why was I doing this when I’m not going to run in meets. Just like the year before, I assumed that conditioning and practicing would be obsolete. I braced myself for another disappointing year. Every winter day after school, I braced myself against the cold with a hope that this season would be different. I went into the first day of practice feeling in shape and optimistic. But just like freshman year, there was no preparing for the ache and suffering of the first practice. With the season approaching, our coach timed us to determine who would run in meets. Our coach divided us into groups based on how fast she thought we were. When a senior saw that I was in the first, slower group, he said that I belonged in the faster group with them. Hearing that compliment from a senior changed my outlook on the season might go. As the first track meet approached, we split off into groups so we could perfect our technique based on the event we were running. As I was jogging around the track wondering whether this year was going to be the same as last year, our coach summoned me over to perfect baton handoffs for the 4x100 meter relay. As the realization hit me that I was going to compete, I thought, “I’m not going to relinquish this spot because I labored profusely to attain