Something New

For most of my life I never tried out for sports.  In elementary school there weren't really any sports to join unless it was those in the community and my family just couldn't afford to drive me around to join and I didn't really have that much of an interest.  In middle school my interest wasn't strong and there weren't that many options at all.  But over the course of that summer in between middle school and high school something changed.  I had the urge to participate in a sport.  A friend's mom suggested cross country.  I loved to run but I didn't run that fast and she said that cross country was more about endurance than speed so freshman year I joined.  Unfortunately conditioning started over the summer so I was out of shape and not prepared for what cross country would ask of me mentally and physically.  For competions I only had to run around 2 miles because I was in junior varsity.  Varsity members did five.  During practice I didn't do too bad, granted I walked on some occasions but I really did try.  On competitions it was the same, I tried but I just couldn't muster up the endurance to make it the full way without stopping to walk.  There was one competition in particular that shattered everything I held dear.

Sections is an incredibly important race and although I didn't make it through the preliminary round, one of the girls who did couldn't make it because of her ankles.  There were eight of us girls in the junior varsity group.  Only seven are allowed to enter the sections.  Because the girl dropped out I was placed in sections.  In sections the best competitors compete to go onto state, an even bigger and more competitive race.  That whole week before sections I let all the fear, all the doubt, all the negative emotions wreak havoc on my mind.  I believed in them.  I believed that I was going to do badly, that I was going to fail, that I was out of my league, that I did not deserve this chance, that they were far better than I was and I couldn't, I shouldn't compete.  The day of the race my confidence was shattered.  My mental endurance was nonexistent, my faith in myself ruined, my self-confidence gone.  I came in last with a time of 22 minutes.  I cried in the first 3 minutes because I couldn't face the fact that this was happening.  I let the team down but more importantly I had sunk so low I asked the coach to keep me from running, I asked to back out.  I gave in to my weak side. Running that race everything hurt.  I've never felt my body hurt so much.  It was like I was dragging heavy chains that wrapped around every part of my body.  A year later it still hurts me to think of that time. 

This year will be my second year with cross country and although all the members of the cross country team have been running since they were little or at least have 3+ years above my experience I'll prove myself.  I'm not ever going to give in to my weaker side.  I'm going to be a strong runner.  that possibility, that potential is inside me.  I need to let it grow.  I need to practice, to train, to be vigilant.  I need to keep growing my mental resistance to all things impure and counter-productive.  I can dream it so I must be able to attain it.  This is my dream, to be a cross country runner.  Not just any but to make it into state.  I'm not going to be last anymore.  I'm not going to finish last.  By the time this upcoming cross country season is over I'm going to finish at least within the top 15 but I know without a doubt that I will not be last.  I won't give up.  I'll practice, I'll run.  Because it's fun, because it's my dream, because it will make me a better a person.  I'm done regretting and avoiding, this year it'll be different.  I will prove to myself the full extent of what I'm capable of.

BeginningLife BeginningLife
18-21, F
1 Response Jul 25, 2007

Cross Country is amazing. I'm not good... but I know the feeling of totally mentally setting yourself up for failure and letting yourself freak out too much. My goal for next season is not to let that happen. =]