Cross Country could have been something that I avoided in my life. It could have been something I was told to do, that I just never did or something I just left behind. But nope, I didn’t do any of that. The photo below is me running my fourth and last Sectional meet. That’s right fourth. I ran at four Sectional meets, which is nothing to be shy to bloat about in sports. Sectionals is the level away from States. It’s a pretty big deal!
I started out Cross Country as a little fat eighth-grader. I was an eighth grader who played basketball, and who ran track, but I ran small events that I wanted to do. It was alright, meanwhile I was one of those thousands of people who hate running or at least say that they did. It’s that one thing that no one really likes to do because it’s too much work for the “lazy” generation that we have today.
When I was asked (by someone who I was close with at the time) to join the team with them, I became a bit hesitant. I didn’t know if I could run that well. I actually took some time to think about the question I was asked. It was something that could help me, but I also didn’t want to let my friend down like many others were already doing. I ended up signing up on the last few days of school, then braced for summer and what would happen when I started my first fall sport.
Little did I know, I would find one of the best things that I would experience during my time in high school. Something that I was convinced into doing, was one of the best things I would ever do.
Well, it definitely did not start out being this way. It started out being a hard and long struggle. My first year, my coach ran me into the dirt. We ran seven to nine miles every practice. Going from not running to running all of that was rough to begin with, but it got easier as the season went on.
I realized after thinking about it for a while that what made it easier to me was the fact that I had great people by my side encouraging me to keep going on with whatever I was doing. That was something I found invaluable. This encouragement was the thing that lead me to coming back to the team the next season, even though we only had three girls including me. In the case of cross country, you can’t score in the actual race as a team unless you have five of the same gender.
We were not even scoring and I loved all of it! I loved it so much that I came back for three years. People came and went. Everyone went back and forth, but along with a few others, we all stayed together. There were two girls that stuck with me through everything. Those two are the very few of my best friends from high school who always loved me for me, and were always there when I needed them. I still get together with them to this day, to the point where I asked one of their moms to take me to their sectional meet! I surprised the girls at their meet,t was so exciting and that photo below shows them and I on the day of their sectional meet as well as a year before that at our last sectional meet together. Also below that photo is the first photo we ever took together during my sophomore year. We were so young there! Back to surprising them at the meet, it felt so great to surprise them since I had barely seen them since going to college. Getting to see them and make them happy was a really great feeling!
On top of all of those good things that came out of the team, I was one of the only two seniors last year, along with being a captain. I also ended up getting coach’s award my sophomore year, most improved runner my junior year, and MVP my senior year as well as the only female hustle athlete award out of my entire senior class. That last one was just amazing and they all were just the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake, seriously. Oh yeah, it was that sweet!
Cross Country was just so worth it, I found great people who I am still friends with today, had so many great experiences that I will always remember, and lots of achievement personally. Overall, it was one of the best parts of my entire high school career. Something that I was thrown into by mistake was the best thing that happened to me in highschool and I will always stick by that statement.