Running on a team was one of the most powerful experiences. The bond between teammates is like any other.
We saw each other at our weakest states; we saw the breakdowns when someone didn’t accomplish a goal that meant so much. We saw each other fight through the physical pain and emotional strain that was very much apart of our sport.
It was certainly draining–to always have to be striving for the next level, to have to get out of a long day of school and expect your body to be at its fullest potential, to try to perform at your best when you weren’t exactly feeling your best. But to know that others were feeling the same way is comforting. We all have our days, so when one of us was really struggling, we could look to our teammates for positivity. On a day when the metal strength just wasn’t there, we still kept going…because no one wants to let down her teammates.
We also saw each other on cloud nine. When one of us would push past a mental or physical barrier, it was the most empowering feeling in the world. Once you extend beyond that initial barrier, you feel limitless. So, when you watch someone else undergo this transformation, you know the exact feeling. The world is yours. This sport meant so much to so many of us, so when success came, the feeling was irreplaceable.
The thing with running is that it never comes easy. In order to achieve, there’s a lot of work that must go into it. Running may come “naturally” to some, but even for those who are natural, training is a must. There are also numerous failures that come before seeing the results you feel you finally deserve. And when this does finally happen, it’s the most rewarding sensation–knowing that you worked for something for so long, and it’s finally here. And all your teammates were here to see your progress, each and every day, every step of the way. To see you work for your goals. To see you fail, to see you succeed.
To be able to embark on such a powerful journey and share the experience with others is something that I will never forget.
Today, while I am not on a team, training with others is such a gift. There’s something about running alongside someone else and they push you while you push them that is really special. And when you have that runner’s high afterwards, you have someone with whom to share it.
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