What I learned from running Cross-Country in Jr. High

In the seventh grade,
I joined cross-country.
Not because I wanted to,
but because my best friend wanted me to.

I lost every single race
that I ran.
But in the end –
I never gave up.

When I was a kid,
My mom wanted me to perform.
I wanted to do sports.
But I did what she wanted.

I performed in every show,
And every voice-over.
Because I wanted to make her happy –
I never gave up.

A lot of things in my life,
I have done for other people.
Because I am afraid to say no,
Because I don’t want to disappoint.

But no matter what I have done,
I have always done it fully.
I have never stopped,
I will not give up.

Running cross country in seventh grade
Taught me more about life than it did about sport.
It doesn’t matter
if I always place last.

It is important to stay in the race,
To stay with the team.
To keep running,
No matter how tired you are.

Because there is always a finish line,
And it feels so good.
And eventually one day,
You may learn to love the race.

Because I can run now,
And I may be slow,
But it’s something I can do.
And it’s something for me.

I can say no to people.
I can say yes to me.
I can keep running the race,
Because you don’t have to be first
To win.

-cdk

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