Before joining Cross Country, I was extremely worried about how I would perform. A combination of embarrassment and physical discomfort were my biggest concerns. However, now that the season is over, I am extremely happy I made the choice to join. I pushed myself to join this sport, as I wanted to prove to myself that I am able to do anything I set my mind to, and to test both my physical and mental boundaries. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the last meet as it was during the holidays, however I am still satisfied with my performance this season. Looking at my times, I can see that I have continuously improved with each meet.
This was also evident to me when I began to find practices easier, as I became more used to running. Although early morning practices were very challenging and tired me out, I found myself getting more and more comfortable with long-distance running, and enjoying the satisfaction it brought me after a run where I knew I performed to my best. I came to realize that I was able to run much further than I thought I could if I mentally changed my thoughts to be more positive and encouraging. I feel now I have better endurance than before, and am able to be more confident in my running abilities. I now know that my biggest area for growth would be self-motivation, as sometimes I find myself getting lazy with running. However, I am more aware that I am able to grow as a person by increasing my ability to motivate myself. I had never done an independent sport before, and this was a very different experience. In team sports you are able to somewhat “share the disappointment” if you do not perform well, whereas with such an individual sport I found that you only had yourself to blame. This got difficult at times as I would feel bad and constantly feel that I could’ve done better, however now that I reflect on the improvement in my times I realize that I definitely have pushed myself, and am proud for the progress I have made.
I may consider doing cross-country again next year, and I will aim to keep up my endurance before then so that starting again will not be so challenging. I would also aim to be more motivated and set a specific goal to train for, which I feel would inspire me more. Doing this sport has made me much more interested in improving my health and fitness ability, and has shown me all the benefits that regular exercise can bring.