I’ve come a long way since the pig-tailed little girl running in the door, soccer ball in hand: “Mom, I just juggled the ball three times!” Nine years later, I’m juggling my love for three sports: basketball, soccer, and cross country. Oh, and I can now juggle a ball 120 times!
I believe in hard work. This may sound cliche, but I am the kid who has always had to do extra. In elementary, I was pulled out for extra support in speech and reading, and now I’m earning a 3.8 GPA. In middle school, I was good enough at soccer to play up an age bracket, but at first I felt intimidated. Consequently, I spent countless extra hours practicing outside of the team practices. Now I have the best technical skills on the team, I can run the longest and the fastest, and I’m playing varsity soccer as a freshman.
In fact, hearing of my work ethic, my school’s XC coach Jeff Brazil asked if I would be interested in competing in both soccer and cross country during the fall season, and I said yes. At first I was skeptical--how do I run without a ball? Ha! But I soon realized cross country is the ultimate test. The years of arduous, extra work at soccer, basketball, and school prepared me for XC. My favorite quote is “Your mind will tell you to quit 1,000 more times than your body does.” I love challenging my body but more importantly challenging my mind to not ever give up. While I started the season with a 23:22, I ended my first season of XC with a state championship, scoring 5th for my team with a 20:22 and 16th place finish.
What have I learned about myself? I am the girl who is the only one practicing in the off season. I am the girl who will sneak into her elementary school gym to get some shooting practice when the outdoor courts are covered in snow. I am the girl who has practiced outside of what is required since I was in 3rd grade. I am the girl who is practicing during freezing Jackson Hole mornings, taking on ice and snow. I am the girl who can use criticism as motivation. I am the girl who loves the critical moments of the game. I am the girl who will make a mighty contribution to the college she ends up at.