Ok, ok, so the picture that goes with this title seems a little ironic at the moment given that we're all smiling and holding a trophy, but I'll get to that part later. For those of you who don't know, I run cross country. It is a difficult sport, where sweat and pain are regulars, but it's all worth it. I love this sport and team and it means a lot to me. Since June almost everyday we have met up at the school and ran. This bond that forms from all of these workouts is so special. Now a lot of people wonder how cross country is a team sport, since it is a race so I'll explain how the scoring works. There are two types of races: varsity and open. The top 7 runners are varsity and everyone else is open. The first five runners of the seven get their places added together and the lowest score wins. Number six is for tie breakers, and number seven is to push the other teams' scores back. This year I was blessed to be the seventh runner on the team.
Ever since the first race, we had been ranked number one. We had a good feeling for the state meet, but we didn't want to get our hopes up. Everyone was nervous heading out of the hotel the morning of the race. I especially, because I was the only freshman on varsity and this was my first highschool cross country meet. We warmed up, stretched, and headed to the start line. In my mind I said a little prayer just before the gun went off.
After that, it was all a blur of runners, people screaming, the heavy breathing, and my tired legs. I crossed the finish line right at 19:09, my PR (personal record). I started walking around giving hugs to all of my teammates, family, and friends.
After lots of gatorade, we huddled around our coaches' phones, waiting for the results to be posted. Everyone was laughing nervously. Then, it popped up. Third place. Our faces fell in disappointment. We got third. Some girls began to cry. Others just stared silently at the screen. To others, third place may seem really good, but for us it was a let-down. Especially because the past three years we had gotten first or second.
It's hard sometimes, to deal with disappointment, but it won't be the last time that it happens. Life is full of joy and disappointment. The way we deal with both is how it will finally impact us in the end. Third place out of 76 teams is incredible. We are blessed to have so much talent together on one team.
Instead of letting the disappointment of third place ruin our moods for the rest of the season, we humbled ourselves. We congragulated the first and second place team and gave them each hugs. Now it's okay to be disappointed, but not to the extent that it starts to ruin you. Yes, our team was upset about losing, but sometimes God puts experiences in our lives on purpose. We had won so many other times, that other teams had never had the chance to experience what we did.
Everything God does is part of his great plan for our lives. We learn the most through experiences and this was one of those moments. Our team learned how to deal with disappointment, and stay motivated and positive for the next year.
Maybe something or someone has disappointed you. Remeber that God has a plan for your life and puts interactions like this for a purpose: to grow closer to Him.
Remember: Live Simply, Laugh Often, Love Deeply