Tomorrow is our meet at Mississippi College.
Choctaw trails is the place where it all started for me.
In seventh grade I ran my first meet at Choctaw trails for Bens Ford Christian school.
Although I hated the time that I spent there, I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to get started on on the sport I pursued through high school and college.
I was 13 in 2005 when I started my first race.
I was wearing a white t-shirt under my singlet and I’m pretty sure I had on a pair of Vans (and so did half the team).
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
The gun went off and the whole field sprinted down the hill and into the woods.
Soon after, I began to slow down.
I was so far behind that the guy on the golf cart that was following the last person was somehow in front of me.
I caught up to another teammate that was also struggling.
We turned off at the wrong spot and ran off the course.
Coincidentally, the wrong turn led us to the last 300 meters of the finish line where our coach was standing.
He let us know that we were disqualified but it wasn’t a big deal because we weren’t going to finish it anyway.
A year later I returned to the same course and finished around 25 minutes.
Not very fast, but I finished.
Fast forward to 2015.
I’m a 22 year-old 5th year college athlete.
I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been and I’m ready to run an 8k almost as fast as I ran a 5k as an eighth grader.
Tomorrow is just another mid-season race for most teams.
For me, this race is a statement to my persistence and hard work over the last ten years.
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend and good luck to my teammates.
We have a fast crew and we are all different athletes compared to our early season races.
No matter what, tomorrow will be an great accomplishment.