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Take a lap: one sport’s reason to exist is a punishment for others

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SOME PEOPLE believe that running long distances is hard. Well, for Granger High’s cross country team, distance running is an amazing experience and very enjoyable.

“I have been running for as long as I can remember, but my favorite thing about cross country is being a part of a team and we all enjoy some of the same things,” Mohamud Sheikah (12) said. “There are some struggles about being on a team, like getting up and finding your determination to go to practice,” he said.

Some athletes at Granger say their favorite part about playing a sport is being a part of a team because they end up becoming a family and having that bonding experience with their peers. The cross country team is as close as every other team — they even have team dinners, and they say that it’s great bonding experience.

“The main reason I started to run competitively is because I love it and it relieves a lot of stress,” Sarah Reynolds (10) said. “The most challenging thing for me is when I finish one race, and then they tell me I have to go run another one, but I’m already worn out and tired,” Reynolds said.  “My favorite part is the competition and the banquets,” she said.

Being a student athlete is hard work. They go from school, to practice, and some even go to a job. There’s more to running than improved fitness. It is also proven to help relieve stress and help runners mentally and physically, as stated on the well.blogs.nytimes.com website.

“I joined because my wrestling coach told us he wanted us to join a fall sport to help our endurance, and it turned out to be really fun,” Brayden Knowlden (12) said. “I have been running for two years, and the best part about being a part of the team is definitely the bus rides because of the bonding and excitement on the way to the meets,” Knowlden said. “The hardest part is the stress before you race, because you get nervous, but as long as you have fun it doesn’t matter,” he said.

Having fun is one of the key aspects that coaches want players to experience when playing a sport, but winning is also another big plus. Some athletes say that winning is the best part about competition.

“My best winning moment was when I beat this girl who always used to beat me by a couple seconds, and I finally beat her. When I did I just felt really accomplished and proud of myself,” Karla Arteaga (12) said. “The best advice I could give anyone who runs distance is to keep a good pace,” she said. “Knowing that there is always gonna be someone better than me is probably the most challenging thing for myself, because I’m so competitive,” Arteaga said.

There are some struggles with being on a team and one of them is practice, not the working out part, but actually having the motivation to do it. When you do get up and set your mind to something, the hard work and dedication really pays off. Students athletes make new friends on the team and get a daily dose of exercise that improves mental health and physical fitness.

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Take a lap: one sport’s reason to exist is a punishment for others