I have a lot of respect for my 4a Section 1 meet. Lots of schools in my area, especially in Montgomery, have solid teams that always bring their best. Many of the races are close. Lots of guys could come out as the winner. Making it to state from our section is difficult.
I am proud of the way that I balanced so much in high school along with running. School, church, friends, and all sorts of things demand time and energy alongside running.
Within running I am pretty proud of the steady improvement I have made over the years. I wasn't aways a state competitor, I used to be a newbie just like most everyone else.
If I could do it over again I would liked to have had more confidence. Thats what my coach harped on this year. I could have put fear aside in some races and I probably would have found out there was more in me than I imagined.
My senior year was not the one I had hoped for. It began with stress fractures in both of my shins. I spent over four weeks cross training in the pool to maintain some fitness. Missing out on building a strong base of mileage didn't help for cross country season. I barely was able to participate in the North South All Stars meet over the summer.
Then, after sectionals in the spring I strained a muscle in my lower back. I was afraid I was going to be out for the state meet since I wasn't able to run the whole week before state. Even though the pain was still pretty bad, I thought I might as well give the 1600 a shot. It was a bad idea. I ran the worst time I have run in high school. The injury was just too painful, Im surprised I finished at all. I saw a chiropractor to get an alignment and got many recovery tips from coaches and got well enough to give the 800 a shot two days later. After lots of ice, bengay, Motrin, and one of the most intense kicks in my career, I somehow finished with a bronze medal. It was by no means the fastest or most glamorous race in my career, but it was the race that took the most guts.
Ill miss many of my team mates and caches, but I know those are not as much of "goodbyes" but rather "see ya laters!" Though, I will miss many of the people I was privileged to race against. Showing up to meets also meant running into great friends that shared a special bond over this sport. The only people that truly understand running are those that run alongside you.
My advice to younger runners would have to be: keep chopping wood. There will always be failure and someone will always be faster. Learn to love the process of getting better. This sport is about beating yourself as much as it is about beating others.
Next year I am so excited to say Ill be running Cross Country and Track at my dram school, Samford University! Go Bulldogs!
My biggest thank you goes out to my parents. They are my #1 supporters and nothing I have done would be possible without them. God has blessed me with the best.