"Hmm, I think I'll wake up tomorrow and run 10 miles!", said no non Cross Country runner ever. This is a prime example of why a lot of people don't do it. It is a very rigorous sport that requires a very special type of person to participate in. What kind of people does Cross Country attract? If you asked me, I would say that Cross Country is the toughest, geekiest sport there is.
When I was in seventh grade I fell in love. Not with a person, but a sport. I fell in love with track. I enjoyed the workouts, the races, the team, the events, the meets, but most of all I had found a passion for sprinting. I worked everyday during practice to prepare for the meets. I pushed myself as hard as I could and never gave up. I couldn’t get enough of it. I was mad for the feeling of your lungs bursting for air and your legs burning with pain. The long, exhausting workouts, the freezing practices, and the crazy memories you can make. There was nothing about it that I found unlikeable. Track was consuming my thoughts, I couldn’t stop. I was in love with it in every single way.
Focusing on the course that lay ahead, chills slithered down my back. The shot of the reverberating gun fired and I charged with my heart pounding like the sound of a drum. With my arms pumping and legs moving vigorously onto the course, I was the average runner in battle with my mind. My teammates leaped and hopped with excitement as I bolted; I pictured my body gracefully drifting through the air while the world stood silent. The last grueling hundred meters, I thrusted my body to the end of the finish line while the other runners stood in utter awe of my amateur performance, I flailed to the ground. Staring up at the sky, as I sat breathless and fatigued, engulfed in deep thought. I could feel the wind in my face and the dirt in my mouth. I was swept away by the calm before the storm, the exhilaration, the immense amount of heart each individual had, but mostly the passion for running.
Beads of sweat slip silently off my skin. I feel my heart steadily thumping, a soft hum, and my stomach clenched in unforgiving knots. Every muscle, tendon and ligament quivers in the stillness of anticipation. Finally, the thundering base of the gunshot sounds, and my body bursts off the starting line. Long strides cut through the air, bouncing off the balls of my feet. My arms pump to keep pace, adrenaline rushing throughout the race.
One day me and Ashton were dirt biking. I was beating Ashton all day. Ashton got so mad that he clipped my handlebars. I fell face first on the ground hitting my head so hard that I had to go to the clinic. But it was so bad that they thought I broke my neck. At first they were going to send me in an ambulance to Stanford Hospital. But then they thought I had broken my neck so they wanted me to fly in a helicopter all the way to Sanford hospital. But I didn't so my dad just took me home. Well back to the RV. When we came back I was still the best one there besides the adults. Booyah . Ashton got really mad. It was a really fun day after all.
I love track. I love everything about it, from the feelings of the wind blowing on my face to the feeling of pretty much being the best runner on my team. Until my dreams got crushed. I got in a car accident. I still remember everything that happened in the car crash. My leg was stuck, twisted. My worst fear came true, my leg had to be cut off.The feeling of me knowing I won’t be able to run again has crushed me. I can’t help but think that because of this car crash my whole life is going to change. I was so depressed. I wouldn’t eat, I wouldn’t talk to anyone who visited. It hurt to know that everything my mom, the doctor, my best friend told me I know and they know wasn’t true. Why couldn’t my arm get cut off or something, just not my leg!
My first year of track was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Each step I took as I ran, I felt was an accomplishment. I felt proud of myself and really committed to track. Through off season work, track practice and meets I became a better, stronger athlete. I actually felt as though I was apart of a team.
This is my absolute favorite race because it is only about 13 seconds until it is over. All the long and hard practices were for this moment right here right now. As I get into my blocks I stare at the finish line praying that I make it in the top 5. At this moment all the sounds around me slowly fade out and everything slows down as I focus on what needs to be done. I get into my blocks, put my head down and take a deep breath. When the gun goes off I'm first out of my blocks and I am maintaining the lead. As we come to the finish line I am almost tied for 5th place. We finish and I was sure that I beat her. We waited for what seemed like hours for the times to show up on the scoreboard. As I'm looking at the 5th place winner I see that my name is not there and that I lost by .01
Bang! The gun had gone off. My feet pounded forward on the track taking care not to hit any of the thirty-two other feet that were all competing for the same spot—first. I pushed hard out of the starting line so that I didn't get boxed in and then fought my way through the first hundred meters to earn my place amongst the other runners.
“Three, two, one, go!” shouted CJ as he started sprinting. I ran as fast as I could and jumped on my sled. I had thought I was going fast but out of the corner of my eye, I saw Luke and CJ start to pass me. Go faster, go faster! I yelled in my head. Then, I started to slow down and finally stop. Luke and CJ had gotten there first. I lost. “You cheated!” I yelled at the air. All my yelling still didn’t help, because I lost, fair and square. We agreed to one more race. Unfortunately for me, it had the same outcome.
As the early morning of the meet begins the world's “Runners to your mark!” are shouted to the racers. I fell my heart beating out of my heart, my legs go numb as I start to go into my blocks. The sight of every parent and teammate in the stands become blurry. Suddenly, the gun goes off and I’m out of the starting
Thud Thud Thud! We were slipping and sliding on the freezing cold ice. And snow was softly coming down. The sledding race was about to start. I was shaking I was so excited.
Walking up to the track I take a deep breath and lace up my spikes they fit like a glove. My team and I start warm ups. Finally it’s race time. I’m on the starting line and my heart is racing. I descend down my starting blocks and place my hands on my spots. The referee says set and points the gun into the air. All runners get into
Race Day has finally arrived, or should I say “Match Day”, in this case. After several months of training and preparation, everything I have done up to this point is now in God’s hands. After a restless night of sleep, I wake up anxious to begin a new journey in this marathon called “life”. Finally, only 5 minutes till race time and everyone begins to shuffle forward. The gun is fired. At first the pace is slow and steady, but that’s OK. After all, 26.2 miles is a long way; no need to worry now. The goal is to finish the last half stronger and faster than the first.