my cross country career reflection

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A mis lectores españoles: mi cuarta entrada para mi proyecto de blog español está por debajo de esta entrada.

Three years ago, at the completion of my sophomore (first) season of cross country,  if someone had told me that I would run varsity during my senior season and compete in the State Meet, I would have burst into hysterical laughter and eventually, once my unbelieving chortles subsided, replied with “good joke.” My first season of cross country was not a very pleasant experience. I usually enjoyed running at practice (no pressure), but I dreaded competing in meets (pressure). I was uncomfortable with the physical pain that competing can provoke, and I had zero mental toughness or confidence. I was typically the last runner on the junior varsity squad to cross the finish line and often times, the overall last runner to cross the finish line. During meets, it was not uncommon for me to succumb to the physical pain, loose all mental strength, and begin crying while I was running.

However, despite this first, unpleasant experience with cross country, I decided to give the sport another chance my junior year. I loved the team aspect of the sport and participating was an “already-scheduled” way for me to exercise. The season started off a little shaky, as I came home early from a cross country camp due to a lack of self-confidence. However, after this first experience of “quitting,” I was determined to have a stress-free and successful season. And, I had just that. My mental toughness and confidence steadily increased with each workout and with each race. By the end of the season, I had run my way from the back to the front of the junior varsity squad; the last two meets I even scored for the team. At the completion of this season, I was proud of my physical accomplishments, but I was most proud with my mental strides.

Now, my senior season of cross country is over, and I have accomplished what I never ever thought I was capable of achieving. My mental toughness and confidence has soared; I am amazed with and proud of my ability to embrace and work through the pain of running. While my mental toughness and confidence presented itself more in workouts than in meets, I never stopped trying & never stopped pushing onward this season. I am proud that my hard work led me to the reward and the fulfillment of running on the varsity squad and at the State Meet. This season has been a learning experience. I know that I am great runner, and I know that there is a great competing runner inside of me. I wish I had just one more season of cross country; with a season of varsity running under my belt, I believe that I could cast off any stress or pressure from my shoulders and that the great competing runner would shine. Overall, my senior season was fun, rewarding, and full of kick-booty workouts. I would not feel the same if it was not for my coaches and the wonderful girls that enjoyed and endured it with me and who came to be my best friends: Leah, Lauren, Mallory, Bailey, Tayvia, and Alex, and later on, Anna.


My senior season of track, however, is still in my future. I plan to apply all that I have learned from cross country and to focus on running the 1500 meter run. I can’t wait!

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2 responses »

  1. Loved the pictures Abby! It has been a long and meaningful cross-country career for you, and I’m sure you’ll continue to realize other ways in which you’ve grown because you met the challenge.
    I’m proud of you!

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