I have been a runner since I was in seventh grade and I have loved every second of running. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I finish a race faster than I have ever done it before.
I am a sophomore at Oconee County High School where I am part of the cross country team. This year our team hopes to win the 3-A Cross Country State Championships for Georgia. My team is counting on me to help make this happen.
Ever since I started running for the high school I have run on the varsity team. Up until recently I have been able to run a faster time at each successive meet-for the most part. We competed in a meet on September 13, 2008 and I did not have a very good race. I did not come even close to running what I am able to run.
After the race was over and I found out my time, I was so disappointed. I thought that I had reached a peak in my racing. I felt like I had done as much as I could and I would not be able to go any faster.
When I talked to my parents and my coaches about the race, they all told me not to worry about this one because I won’t have a faster time every time I go out. My coach pointed out that compared to last year on the same course I still ran a faster time, even on a bad day.
My mom was the most supportive. She told me that she and my Dad were there for me and hoped I wouldn’t give up on myself. She and my Dad enjoy watching me participate in something I love.
What I did not tell them is that I seriously thought of quitting. I would just finish out the season and then walk away from running all together.
Before bed that night, I thought of a quote on the back of one of my t-shirts I received at a race. Steve Prefontaine once said that, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift”. This quote hit me really hard and made me wake up to what I was thinking. If I just gave up and quit running I would be throwing away something that I have grown to love. I would be throwing away all of my talent and hard work from four years of running.
I believe now that if one thing goes wrong it does not mean you should just give up completely, especially if you love what you are doing. As I am writing this I think now that I will never give up running, no matter how badly I do at one race because there is always another one.
I hope now I will be able to carry this attitude of perseverance that I have learned over to the rest of my life.
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