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Is it smart for me to do Cross Country in high school?

I am a junior in high school and am about to start my second season of Cross Country in a few days. When I decided to sign up for Cross Country my freshman year of Spring, I didn't know how physically taxing it would be. I've had a few friends who did Cross Country that last Fall, but I didn't really get the gist of what the sport was like from them. I'm not very sporty and certainly do not enjoy running. The first week of pre-season that summer, I sprained my ankle. I tried to quit after my injury, but my coach kept pushing me to join back in. Next thing I know, I was back at practice two weeks later. I wasn't good at running. I wasn't that fast. I was average when I ran in JV races, but I was always usually last in Varsity races that consisted of many teams from around my county. Although I ran both JV and Varsity races during my season, I was put onto the JV team with only one other girl for the championships. I might be put onto the JV team again this year and I don't think I am going to join the team at my future college. Is it smart for me to do it again this year? and maybe the following year? #student #high-school #athlete #sport #cross-country #junior-varsity

Grades are your first priority, If it doesn't conflict with that then it shouldn't be a problem. Elijah W.

Hi Elijah. Unfortunately, it did greatly conflict with my grades. I would be too tired to study for my tests and quizzes at night after doing homework. I had a hard time keeping up with my grades. We would have races on school days and would come back to the school when it is already dark. I am usually a straight A student, but I managed to get by with B-'s that quarter, though I got C's and D's on many of my quizzes/tests. Karen P.

That clearly means you need to reevaluate you priorities and critically think what is going to get more to my future goals better. Trust me I have been what your going through hand it was a tough decision to give up some things I loved doing. Elijah W.

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Brandon’s Answer

If you're not having fun it's OK to stop participating. It's not a matter of being a smart decision or not. It's entirely up to you and there is no right or wrong answer. If you haven't already I would include your parents in this discussion and let them know how you feel. With that said, there are many benefits to participating in athletics, and particularly Cross Country. Besides the social aspect of practices and meets, Cross Country is great for establishing a foundation for a high level of physical fitness - which is something that will be incredibly important throughout your entire life. It also helps build mental strength and stamina that you can use in your everyday life. If you would rather be doing something else productive that is understandable but I would not let your running times or which team you're on affect your decision too much. Look at it from a long-term perspective. Good luck!

Hi Brandon! I have just finished my first day of Cross Country practice this season and saw your response. I think it is great that you told me to look at it from a long-term perspective. I remember how much I struggled and asked myself why I joined the team. Cross Country is such a rigorous sport, yet I pushed myself to finish the season on a good note. It wasn't until the season was finished did I notice how much the sport changed my life. I lost a lot of weight and became so much more persistent, both mentally and physically. Today was tough, but I gritted my teeth and kept running, as I saw what Cross Country will really do for me in the long run. Thank you so much for the positive outlook! Karen P.

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Daniel’s Answer

Follow your passions Karen, if it is not in Cross Country then I feel you shouldn't spend you valuable energy and mindset on it.But always remember, passions can be hard work (which means you shouldn't just give up on them straight away).

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Crystal’s Answer

I think yes. If you enjoy it. Running is something you can do for many years ahead. It can be a great outlet as well through college and when you begin your career.
Cross Country will also teach you how to compete, deal with success and failure.