Mental tricks make girls victorious

Seth Jarvis, Editor-in-Chief

Cross country runners face a lot of struggles as they go through their races and practices. One of them is fighting through the pain.

   Junior Myka Watkins deals with this exhaustion by taking deep breaths before a race. She explained that during practices, teammates help support her. Senior Haley Haines is one person who has assisted her.

   The workout that helps Haley deal with the suffering is running long distances. She said that when the cross country team runs around four miles at practice, a race does not seem as long. It helps her mentally prepare for real races. She also said that Myka helps motivate her during a competition, because she tries to be at least one person behind her.

   For senior Ivy Gerow, hills are a major problem during a race. Once she starts going downhill, however, the pain lessens. She also faces doubt in herself if she does not walk a course first.

   “I just tell myself the finish line isn’t so far away and I’m almost there,” she explained.

   Senior Grace Breshears starts experiencing turmoil right after the initial dramatic sprint. She likes to think about the birds chirping and all the green as the race starts to become hard. Green is her favorite color.

   “I give myself positive encouragement; my mom writes notes in my lunchbox,” she stated.

   Sophomore M.J. Huff’s biggest cause of mental anguish, is seeing people run better than she. This can affect her negatively in a race.

   To deal with it, she always thinks of quotes in her head and what the coaches have told her. She believes that pain is only temporary and one can push through it.

   “It’s just the price you pay. What is it worth to you?”she asked.

   “Stop; you’re not good enough; give up, “ is what freshman Lillyan Gerow said are a few of the negative thoughts that affect her during a race.

   She fights these by telling herself to suck it up and that she needs to run better. She works to drown out the sayings of the “monster” on her shoulder.

    Sophomore Paige Akers feels the most pain when she is at the halfway point. This is where everyone is telling her that she is half way. She will literally tell herself that she is running too slowly and needs to run faster.

   Cross country is a difficult sport that never gets easier. However, its runners always find a way to be resilient when facing pain.

Haley Haines sprints through the return loop at the beginning of a home cross country meet; she was only a half mile in. (PHOTO: Kameron Cole)