This weekend I raced with my cross country team at O.C champs, a local championship for all schools in the Orange County district. This race was extremely important to me, because I had just come off a injury a few weeks back. When you’re injured for such a long time it’s hard to remember what it’s like to run to your full potential. I had so many struggles during my injury and there were so many times where I wanted to give up. It was hard seeing my friends excel in the sport; I was happy for them, but I was also filled with so much frustration and anger, not at anyone but at myself. How could my own body give out when I needed it the most? Weeks at a time I believed I would never heal. I had heard stories where athletes had come back from injuries never running as well as they used to. When I thought about quitting the same question would enter my brain as if programmed, “What kind of teammate would you be if you just left” I understood I had to have patience and hope with everything coming my way.
Once season started, it was downfall after downfall. I would have the lousiest races, and direct anger towards myself. I could not wrap my head around the fact that a was failing. After a while I would show up to races tired, and unfocused waiting for the same outcome as other weeks. Then, the night before O.C champs I sat and thought for an hour. I went through all my goals from the beginning of summer. I wanted to beat my best time of three miles, which was 20:16, and I wanted to get below 20. I was tired of telling myself I could not achieve it. I was going for it.
There’s something about stepping on a white powdered race line with your number pinned to your uniform. You can see all the racers vividly next to you. It’s a feeling like no other. You have gallons of adrenaline and emotions flowing through your system. When the Gunner tells you to talk your place, you get a hard stable stance, and you wait for the gun to go off. It’s amazing I get to experience this almost every week, but this weekend at O.C champs it was different. I felt determined, even a hunger to do well in my race. I knew this was the week to prove to myself and everyone what I was capable of. When the Gun went off I took a good stride and dove forward. I worked my way up and worked for the rest of the race. It was the best and worst I had ever felt. I was exhausted, but I knew this is what it took to meet my goal. When i crossed the finish line my time was 19:30.
I was in a complete state of shock. All the work I had put in all season paid off. I knew that quitting was always an option. I would always be able to quit and be nothing, but I never gave up. It took something as big as an injury to make me appreciate and realize how important it is to be in good health. In school don’t ever lose hope for anything especially grades. If you set your mind to it, you can achieve it. Even when it gets to the lowest point, remember that everything is not lost. It always gets better.