Senior year was the first and only year I decided to run Cross Country at Immaculate Heart. I had never done Cross Country before and when I announced my plan of conditioning in the summer to be on the team, I received a lot of raised eyebrows. My parents did not really understand why I would want to do such a thing—kill my body before sending myself off to college, however, I wanted to try running Cross County and that’s what really mattered. I conditioned for a whole summer and when try-outs finally came around, I didn’t exactly do as well as I anticipated. I still made the team but my time was 27 minutes on our 3 mile course. As I kept practicing with the team, however, I quickly improved. The next few races, I broke my personal record consecutively by 2 minutes. I even got to the point where I had achieved my goal of finally running a low 23 minutes on our course. It was not easy, this Cross Country deal. It was a battle. It was not so much a physical battle involving training and endurance but rather a mental battle. Many times during hard races, I would actually think to myself, “Hey, if you just slip of that cliff, you won’t have to finish the race.” I know that it was terrible to think that way especially during a race, but my mind was taking over. My mind was trying to dictate my body and tell it to stop running. I had to constantly tell myself that I was almost there, that there was water at the end of that long, long, long hill. If I had not reinforced my positive mentality, my negative mentality would have definitely taken over.
I believe in conquering our negative mentality that tells us to stop when, deep down inside, we know we can continue. I know that I can create my own reality; the only thing that stops me is my mind. If I continue to work hard to silence the negative thoughts that attempt to hinder my chances of being great, I know that I will go far and not just in running. This I believe.
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