How I’ve grown as a person through cross country


PHOTO Jack Gundry

Freshmen Taylor Huntoon (left) and Angelina Vitarelli (right) run together during practice. Both girls are members of the Fenton cross country team

Angelina Vitarelli, Writer

When I first started running, it was a cold morning in early October. My dad was trying to get in shape and asked me to run with him. The run that day was brutal. I was slow, my knees hurt and I wasn’t enjoying it. It was dark and the wind stung my face a little, but I continued to run with him anyway.

The next summer, I made the decision to join cross country. I was in seventh grade and thought I should try something new. Work on the next two sentences. In middle school cross country, I noticed how serious the kids were about this sport. I could’ve been running faster and pushing myself to my limits, but I wasn’t.

During  that season, I realized how hard this sport was and how much work it took, even if the races were only two miles. At the end of the season, I improved my worst time of 17.20 to 16.30. I felt good about my overall performance.

I skipped cross country in eighth grade because I thought it was too hard. I’m not proud of being a quitter that season. Now, as a freshman, I wonder why I ever quit.

The high school team practices all summer until the season ends in early November. The most I’d ever run in middle school was two and a half miles. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to run 5K races without practicing with five-mile runs.

My first meet as a freshman runner was marked by a time of 26:04 for 3.2 miles. My second meet was a different story. It was over 80 degrees outside with no breeze. I ended with a time of 27:02.

At the end of the season, my final time was 23:32. I couldn’t believe how much I’d grown as a runner and a person because of a sport. Cross country has had an immense positive effect on my life. I continue to run because of the friends I’ve made and because I can fuel my emotion into my running.

If I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that your team is a crucial part of your success and growth. Running has also taught me that you can’t be the best at everything, no matter how bad you want it. Being the best doesn’t come right away. Success comes with patience and patience comes with time.