This is sort-of that cross-country “overview” I was planning on writing, but with a little more of an emotional leg!!
Yesterday, I wrote this as part of a project for gifted seminar (digital portfolio; it was for my “extracurricular activities” section):
“Fourth-grade: for the very first time, I noticed the uplift running could bring me. I decided I liked that! Still, it wasn’t until eighth grade–January 2011–that running started to become more “regular” for me. At first, I didn’t even have an ounce of an idea of what running was going to draw out for me. Races, cross-country? Completely… unfathomable!
I started out with the idea that I would “never be a real, good runner”. Running would just be something I did because I enjoyed it, and it racked up my confidence. Honestly, I didn’t even care if I was the slowest slow-poke to ever lace of her sneakers. Speed wasn’t my initial goal. But that didn’t stop it from happening; or, at least, improving dramatically!
When I started running routinely in January, I was about a nine- to ten-minute mile. Now, I’m about a six-minute mile. Something I’m more than happy with! Knowing that I can improve, get faster, and build up my endurance, has only motivated me more and more to keep running. Joining cross-country has done so much to not only help me get as far as I have by this point, but also bring me closer to the runner “community”, and to help me become even better connected with how amazing running makes me feel.”
All of that is defiantly true–just, tidied up a wee bit!
Warning: this may sound way way too much like a diary entry!! Sorry!
Honestly, cross-country hasn’t been the perfect amazing miracle for me. Nervousness/anxiety is twisted around my DNA, and XC has, actually, caused it to flare up a little bit. I’m not a good racer; so far, my race times have been really far off from what I know I have the ability, physically, to run. And then there’s the yucky cycle the goes along with that: my coach sees how well I can run during practice (without all the pressure/mental strain laying on top of me!), and gets… excited, haha. I wish he would just wish me a “good job”, like my lady-coach does, but instead he talks about how well he wants me to do at our next meet. That only adds pounds more pressure onto me, even if it shouldn’t; I get more and more nervous, and run terribly in the race! Then, Coach is upset. Then, repeat!! (I would think he could see this happening and would adjust how he tries to motivate me?? My lady-couch has; my mom says it’s just because my head coach is a guy and he can’t pick up on the emotional stuff, haha.)
The past week, my anxiety (not just over XC, though!) had gotten to a really bad peak it reaches every now-and-again; actually, it was so disabling, I had to leave school early on Tuesday (partly, because I was getting physical symptoms!). I missed Wednesday, too. I had been starting to get so run-down before-hand, that even my running at XC practice was dropping to its low. I had had morning practice on Tuesday, so Wednesday was the only day I totally took off from running. It was all I really needed to help with the physical side of being run-down, because most of it was internal stress. First day back, I wasn’t entirely relaxed (okay, I confess: it took me a little long to get myself out of the car at school!), but I was so much more refreshed than I had been. I missed morning practice, which is optional.
But, then, Thursday afternoon, this happened and slightly threw me off a little bit: I was defiantly refreshed and had a super super great practice after school. Just being able to be proud of myself, then move on… that would have worked perfectly for my “mindset”! Coach, again, got really energized and instead of the “good job” that I would have been able to grab and take pride in, he told me that he thinks I’ll be able to make top-five at our first championship race (local championships + districts are all we have left for the season). I don’t think I need to say more!!
Four days until the meet, now, and my nerves are already getting to me… all I can tell myself, now, is to RELAX! In the long run, think of it like this: only two meets left, even if they’re the most important! Two: after the nine or ten I’ve already ran, I know I can make it through two meets! Don’t think of them as ridiculously important, even if they are! Just relax… and RUN!
The last one, especially, is SUCH a good point!!
(Haha, thanks for listening!)