Why I Run


Nora Paschall

Imagine showing up to cross country practice and feeling absolutely horrible. You have a headache, you’re exhausted, your throat hurts and it’s just been a bad day. All you can think about is how much homework you have to do when you get home and how much you are dreading practice. Yet day after day and season after season we continue to show up to practice no matter how we feel. Why is this? 

Cross country builds a sense of community and teamwork with all the people involved. Everyday I show up to practice, I sweat, laugh, cry and grow stronger with my teammates. Practice involves many hard workouts and grueling practices. When I experience this with my teammates, we grow closer because we are suffering and experiencing the same challenges. At practice, my teammates and I are working towards common goals. We strive to work hard, encourage each other, and ultimately win. I am motivated to work hard because I don’t want to let my team down. Although sports involve many challenges, the good times far outweigh the hard times.

Sports also have many health benefits, one of which is reducing stress. Physical exercise helps get rid of the stress hormones in the body while also releasing endorphins which make people happier and more focused. Exercise helps people sleep better which is extremely important for recovery and injury prevention. Exercise triggers chemicals in the brain that make people feel happier and more relaxed which contributes to you falling asleep. Sports also help to have a healthy body. Exercising reduces the risk of heart failure, diabetes, and helps the lungs function correctly. Sports are a great way to keep people feeling good and healthy. I know that when I’m not feeling great, if I go do something active I feel much more productive and ready to face whatever challenges come my way. 

Sports can also help improve grades. Students are motivated to try and get good grades because otherwise they are not allowed to compete. Sports teach kids motivation and drive by learning to not give up.  For example, in a cross country race, there are no breaks or timeouts, you run until you are done. Kids learn to prioritize their time because when they get home late and still have homework to complete, they have to work efficiently in order to get to bed in a timely fashion.

Participating in sports is an amazing experience that I am so grateful to get to be a part of. If I did not run cross country, I wouldn’t have half of the amazing friends that I have, and I wouldn’t have gained the life skills that I gained by participating in sports.