|Sticking to the pace was everything in middle school.|
I was never truly attached to baseball. Something about wearing pants and a belt when playing a sport didn't make sense to me. So the decline didn't bother me, but I did want to be good at something. I did what any star athlete would tell you to do: I quit. I put down my bat and glove forever and never looked back. When 7th grade rolled around, and students were allowed to play school sports, I was on track to be a spectator.
When my close friend Kevin told me he was joining the Cross-Country team. My mom, who probably didn't want me being loud and needy at home all the time encouraged me to try something new with my friend, so I joined the team.
There were no cuts on the team, all we had to do was turn in paperwork. The first run we were introduced to was called "The Perimeter," which was .8 miles long and traced out the edge of the middle school property. Two loops around The Perimeter was essentially what our home course was plus a little extra to round it off to 1.75 miles.
I was easily one of the worst ones on the team. I was consistently waited for at the end of every single race.
But I stuck with it. I didn't train harder or eat better. I simply kept showing up. And it paid off.
By the beginning of next season I was one of the important seven runners. Our coach described me as, "cross country's truest success story," and that title is one that I'm proud of. Through training properly I went from bad, to moderatley important over the course of a year, and I was determined to continue that trend.