Monday, November 6, 2017

Cross Country Experience

Brailey tried something new this year. She made a heartwrenching decision to give up her position on Dance Factory and to go out for Cross Country. She was so lucky to be able to join the team late. She knew it would be important to be involved on a school team at her new school, and it is the first sport that she has loved and enjoyed at the same time. She was blessed with great teammates and the most amazing coaches. The first night of practice, she was so nervous, but she came to the car with a big smile on her face and said, "Everyone is so nice, Mom. They are SO nice!" It was such a welcome change to hear her say that and restored our faith in adolescents today. There are a lot of snots out of there, it is true, but there are still some good, sweet kids, as well. Brailey's experience on the cross country team at Harrisburg could not have been any better for her!
 These are a few of their workouts. It isn't all running at cross country practice.
 At one of her first meets, the first one we were able to experience.
And at one of the last meets. We didn't get to go to many of her meets, but she had lots of support and she loved being on her own and spreading her wings a little. We hated to miss out, but we are grateful for the races we were able to see.
This was at Fern Ridge Reservoir out in the Elmira/Veneta area.
Brailey and the girl below are the Catholic Cuties from volleyball back in 6th grade. They met all those years ago! Ciragh's sister is a freshman on the Junction City team (you will see her pictured with Brailey below). It was great to see them!
Brady and Britt are so funny - Brady was timing Brailey and they would check her time when they saw her at different parts of the race.
And then the District Meet at Lane Community College. Brady and I made it just in time, all the way from Ellensburg WA, with two minutes to spare and were able to see the start. She was so surprised to see us!
She ended the season with a PR and improved so much over the course of the season! She is already excited for next year. The coaches hosted a wonderful party to celebrate the season at Papa's Pizza where Brailey received her Varsity Letter and certificates (including Most Improved Female Athlete) and a darling lunch box full of goodies. Their coach told them to always "Pack a lunch!" It was a metaphor for being prepared, both for running a race and for life. He won Coach of the Year, and there couldn't have been a more deserving coach for this award! Both coaches were absolutely amazing and we feel incredibly blessed they let Brailey join the team. We are also proud of Brailey for trying something new. She cut 8 minutes off her time from start to finish, and that is an accomplishment. We are ready for next year! 

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