Running Takes Character

Lauren - USA
Entered on September 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that to be a good athlete you have to have a love for the sport. I have been a student athlete for six years. i run cross country and I’m not one of the fastest athletes out there. You don’t have to be fast to be a good athlete.

I am seventeen and i have been running cross country for six years. I started when I was in sixth grade. I was never the fastest, but my coach admired how much heart I had; even though I wasn’t in front, he could tell that I was out there and giving it my best effort. He appreciated that I was out there and giving it my best even if I didn’t think it was my best.

My eigth grade year I was the only girl from my class still out there running. There was also only one boy from my class running. I was proud of myself because I was still running and had stuck to it, which is amazing for me because i usually don’t stick with things for very long. I didn’t give up, even when I felt like i was having the crappiest day ever.

I continued to run in high school my freshman year. I was really intimidated by the varsity runners, but I was quickly accepted into the group. I really enjoy how friendly people are, including the people you are running against. By the end of the season, the team is one big family and that’s what I love about cross country. It’s not so competitive that it takes the fun out of it and for me that’s perfect because I’m not very competitive and never have been.

Now that I’m a senior I look at the freshman and know how they feel on their first day of cross country. I really try to talk to everyone, so no one feels excluded. I’m very proud of myself because I have accomplished something that most people couldn’t and that is sticking with something . It is the sticking with something that makes a true athlete. I’m not only reffering to myself but to people like me who do the same thing. You never know what is possible when you put your mind to it.

Not only have I gotten encouragement from my coaches, but my parents also have been a major support system. My dad specifically because he is a runner too. He is like my coach at home; he is there wheather I want him to be or not, but I really apprecitate his support. I don’t know what I would do without it. So, even though I’m not one of the top runners, I have something those top runners don’t have; heart and character. It is that character as an athlete that sets me apart and makes me different from everyone else.