Conquer, Believe, Resist
As I took a deep breath, my heart raced and I knew it was time. I was standing on the white line and in moments would be on the other side where everything would change. I said my last prayer, closed my eyes, and walked out of the world for a brief second to only hear the boom drive my mind to the end.
I opened my eyes and got prepared for the biggest meet of cross country, Mount Sac. This course was full of dirt hills, switch backs, and long speedy strides. Before it all started I was surrounded with the joyful screams of all the other teams doing their typical cheers. As soon as I heard the gun shot, my legs moved as fast as I could in order to pack together with my team. Once I lost the discomfort of my breath I was challenged yet with another problem. I looked right next to me as a girl tripped and vigorously dropped to the crispy pavement ground, which caused every other girl to stumble like a domino. Before I knew it I became startled when I saw the ground five inches before me. I slid on the blacktop and felt my whole face flush. My mind went blank for half a second, and then I realized I was racing and my team needed me to continue so that I scored this race. I quickly lifted myself up and tried to hunt my team members to reach them on the other side. While I shifted my mind to the race again I faced the burdensome of the switch backs, which was a hill after a hill after a hill. These first hills made my legs instantly fatigue and full of pain; my body kept telling me to stop, but my mind said keep trying your almost there. With every step I took I perpetually told myself that it was only a step closer to the finish line. Just as I trotted through the last switch back I gently let go of my body as I stumbled down the hill and encountered the cheers from all the other school’s teammates as well as our own. As I pushed my way through the other girls I came across the notorious “poop out” hill; the hill that makes every girl loose motivation to make it to the finish line. It makes your legs sore the minute you start the steepness of it and is where most girls begin to dwindle due to lack of water and strength. Once, I glanced at the hill I reminded myself of all the mileage I had done over summer and all the race pace lappers I did during the year to pace up this hill with a solid motion.
The time was now 14:28 when I made my way through the two-mile mark, going now to the last hills of the race, “The Reservoir Hills.” As I heard the screams of encouragement of both my teammates and my coaches, I prayed to God that he would give me the fortitude to push up the last hills and lean forward to the finish line. Just as I was turning to begin the last two hills I spotted one of my girls ahead of me, which propelled me to try to reach her and motivate her to continue pushing forward. I heard the cheers of the audience and the bell indicating the last 800 before the finish line; I moved my arms up my waist and moved my legs as fast my body could. I finally saw the clock, but as I tried to reach it, it only moved farther and farther away. As it struck 20:44 seconds, then 20:53 seconds, I made my way through the last strip of the race, until I had made it across the finish line, getting a 21:05. I took a deep breath and told myself it was all over, I had just completed the biggest cross country meet of the season. As I made my way to my teammates I hugged them and praised how hard they had worked regardless of our times and our loss to Edison. I knew that we just had to work harder and maintain to pack together as a team not an individual. Despite our flaws, we didn’t give up and at least finished the entire course as a team.
This specific race reminded me of the inspirational film called, Final Shot-The Hank Gathers Story we watched in my english class. It’s based on a true story about a young basketball player named Hank Gathers who puts his mind and soul to being the best he can be for his team. Throughout the film he works extremely hard to reach his fullest potential and win every game for his team. It caught my attention because he demonstrated the resilience and happiness we need as a team even when he became physically fatigue due to heart malfunctions. One saying that will remain in my heart was when Hank collapsed in the middle of a game and fell brutally to the ground, but got right back up and told his coach, “No I don’t want to lay down.” This showed me that even when we encounter a hill that is troublesome, we need to get right back up and make our best effort to persist moving forward. This was especially true when I fell down in the first mile of the course because those seven words told me to keep going and just try my best. Thus, I advice each and every one of you guys to carry forward your goals, even when you face a hill, because you never know the great things you can be lingering to achieve.
Quote: Run the first mile with your head, the second with your legs, and the third with your heart.” -Unknown “