Slow and Steady Wins the Race

My heart rate increases and the sweat drips on the purple and white uniforms. The team no longer became visable. I take a sharp left turn, look around, and pause, only to notice that no one is near. I am lost. I reverse to see other team mates following.

“Wrong way, I guess,” I say nonchalantly. They all groan and curse under their short breaths.

Coach Locke records my time. 19:56. I am a failure.

Brutality struck when our senior leader instructed us to jog a twelve minute, one and a half mile cross country warm up. That imitation of the “fat girl” running behind the pack depicted in movies appeared true. Additionally, my nine minute mile splits felt worse. I told myself I would quit by the third week; I went to practice everyday for the rest of the season.

Summer 2007 marked a new beginning– cross country conditioning. The team traded in sleep to better themselves and sacrificed joy for a few hours of agony. We met every morning and trained harder than before. However, I knew that in order to keep up, I would need to try. Eventually, as the summer wore on, my times decreased and I kept up with the fastest runners.

A year later, I run the same course. Except, I’m a more experienced and capable athlete. I hold my head high for those two elongated miles and I refuse to let anyone pass. The pain bolts through my legs but I do not mind. I finish with a smile on my face. 15:26. Eighth overall. Perfect; a spot on varsity.

I’ve struggled throughout the past year to achieve the best time possible. I’ve PRed(personal record) countless times, I’ve tolerated numerous asthma attacks, and I ran
Rim Rock (the hardest cross country course in Kansas). I’ve survived it all. I’ve achieved it all, I’ve endured it all, I’ve won it all.

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