Mississippi MileSplit A Senior/Freshman Perspective

This is written by Lauren Anne Smith, Jackson Preparatory about her and Olivia Smith her sister and their  view of the upcoming cross country season

Knowing that the end of my high school running is near, makes me feel bittersweet about it. All the morning practices, pasta dinners, long runs, and post-race wave of emotions will soon be distant memories.

After switching schools and becoming ineligible to compete for a year, I waited patiently for my time to come by training and doing everything I could to get better every day. This track season was supposed to be my year that I would be able to race again, but then the pandemic hit; the season ended before it even started. What being redshirted has taught that has gotten me through this series on unfortunate events is patience.

Going into my senior year and having so much time to prepare for the upcoming cross country season, it feels different. This year is different because I will give 110% effort, enjoy every grueling moment of practice, and finish the season with no regrets. It sounds cliche since I'm going into my senior year but the gap of no track season has made me want to savor every moment I have with the sport I love until I graduate.

My sister is an upcoming freshman and has finally started to take running to the next level by dedicating more time to the sport. From her point of view on the loss of track season, she said she felt unmotivated and feared of not being in the same shape she was since it wasn't possible to compete during the spring.

Her breakthrough was telling herself to get through it and to keep running even through the darkest times. "By putting my mindset on this cross country season, I was able to stop seeing all the negative outcomes and started thinking about the positives."

This is the last year that my sister and I are on the same team since I will eventually be going off to college. We have been inseparably training buddies through quarantine and I will say I am thankful for every minute I have spent with her. She has helped me by pushing me during tough workouts and making the never-ending long runs a bit more enjoyable. Running has brought us closer together and sharing something that I value so much really is something special. I know even when we've ran our final races, that we are still able to share the memories. I know not everyone is as lucky to always have someone to train with, so next time you are out on a run with your teammates make sure to cherish it.

For anyone who has been struggling with the loss of their track season or finding it difficult to build their summer base, my advice is to not give up. Remember why you started running and why you love the sport. The time to compete and have practice with your teammates will soon come again. Everyday you wake is a day to get better and one step closer to cross country season, so don't waste it.