Cross Country: ‘second family’ for Maria Jackson


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Maria Jackson loves her Cross Country family

Maria Jackson, Junior

To me, cross country has always been more than just a sport.

The opportunity to be a part of the cross country team has allowed me to surround myself with people who have positively influenced who I am today. They are encouraging, even in the toughest times and never fail to give a high-five at the end of every race.

In fact, the sport itself is known for its extremely supportive culture.

Although there is always fierce competition on the course, every team, parent, and coach is seen cheering on every runner from the first finisher to the last.

Through this experience I have created life-long friends and truly a second family. My coaches have taught me more than just how to have good form or run fast.

They have taught me that the mind is very powerful in running and in life. I’m not going to sugar coat it: running is not easy.

There are times when you feel like you can’t go any farther, times when you just feel like giving up. These are the moments when your attitude can make or break you.

Believing in yourself can have an incredibly positive impact on your performance. Having the ability to overcome mental challenges can be the difference between chasing a goal and achieving one.

However, the mind and body must work together to find success in running. 

Discipline is a huge part of being race ready.

Coming to practices, putting forth your best effort, and getting enough sleep and proper nutrition are ingredients for success on the course.

Becoming fully dedicated to the sport comes with great reward and accomplishment. Crossing the finish line of every race is a reminder of all the hard work that a runner has invested in the process.

During practice, we train to become better runners and teammates. We train to approach the starting line of every single race with confidence.

Within every race you fight two battles. On the good days you beat your competitors; on the great days you beat yourself. But on the best days, you beat both.

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