englishmomentfinalcopy - Not Going the Distance As a...

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Not Going the Distance As a generally quiet person, being on the cross-country team was a way for me to break out of my shell. During the season of my sophomore year, I had become very comfortable with all of my teammates and coaches. I looked forward to practice everyday, where I felt comfortable in being as loud and funny as I wanted. At the time, when people asked me why I ran I was unsure of the exact reason. Now I realize that I love not only the sport of running, but also the people that come with it. As a long distance runner, I had become accustomed to injuries. I understood that for a runner, pain is inevitable and unfortunately comes with the sport. Since I began running long distance in sixth grade, I had several painful injuries including shin splints, tendonitis and small fractures in my legs. All of these injuries were tolerable and I was able to run through them. I ran through most of my injuries because I felt like I needed to be good at everything I do in order to enjoy myself. Taking time off for a minor injury would inhibit my progress as a runner. I felt that not doing well in a race would mean that I would somehow enjoy running less. I’ve come to realize that it is all right not to be the best all the time, and that I can come in last place in a race but still enjoy myself. By my sophomore year running on the cross-country team I had realized that every race I run would be somewhat painful. At the end of track season, my teammates gave me the award of most injured on the team, a tribute to the fact that I can’t seem to have a season, or a week for that matter, without a visit to the athletic trainer or a new injury. Luckily, I had never had an injury serious enough that I could not get back to running within a few weeks.
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