This story shows how much team work and my teammates mean to me:

Everyday I hear that Cross Country is an individual sport. That it's all mental and that nobody else pushes you. If someone tells you this they have never run a day in their life. Cross country is both individual but it is also very much teamwork. In practices your team mates push you to complete the workout. It's good to have a couple team mates that you are competitive with because then when your on the urge of giving up and they come passing by that automatically sets off a trigger in your body. Boom! You stay with them and complete the workout. Same thing in meets, your teammates push you, in the end though for me at least, I could not be more proud of my team mates.

I'm on LOHS Varsity XC and for me the varsity girls are my family. We have bonding nights where we can talk to each other about anything. That's one of the greatest parts of Cross Country. Now this year at districts the course was not favored by most of the team. Everyone was nervous. I was very nervous because I had a pretty good feeling that I wasn't going to get a PR. I have a couple girls on my team that I mentor and I try really hard to push them in races. At the end of the race I was totally dead. I just wanted to be done. Then one of those girls comes running to my side. Then she starts to fall back and I physically grab her arm and pull her up to my side again. I whisper to her "stay with me. You can do this." She was very surprised and tried to stay with me and fell a little behind. She ended up finishing not far behind me (3rd place for our team I was 2nd). We had to write down our favorite memory at the end of the season. She wrote down that her favorite memory was when I grabbed her and said "stay with me." This is what teamwork is all about.

Being there for your teammates in a race, at practice, before the races, after the races, and just there if they want to talk. Once you gain the respect of your teammates a sport becomes so much more enjoyable. So after a race if you automatically go for a cool down, don't. Wait for your teammates and tell them they killed it and then go for a cool down with them. I have personally made very strong relationships with my teammates because of how I treat them.

Mentor someone if you do a sport and you would be surprised by the amazing friendships that you create. 

Thank you

Emma Smith

Have a great day!