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The LEAP Student Blog

Roman Schroyer, Sehome HS: "Trust Your Team in Order to Succeed"

Author:Roman Schroyer
School:Sehome HS

Trust Your Team in Order to Succeed
Going into my sophomore season of XC, I was nervous. I had an excellent freshman season and was excited to start another fall of training. I had grown relatively close to my upper classman teammates last season yet this year I had missed out. I went on an exchange for the summer and was unable to participate in summer training with the team. Showing up, it was clear that I was not at the same level of fitness as I was when I began my freshman year. I struggled and battled my sophomore year, running well but failing to PR a single race. As the season progressed, my teammates and I grew closer and leading into the state meet were very encouraging. We were the 6-time defending state champions and this year, we were all unsure if we could win again.
I was unconfident in myself and didn’t want to let my teammates down. Sophomore year was the year that the atmosphere at practice changed. I wasn’t just some freshman running with the upper classmen, I was a true member of the varsity 7. We were all nervous for the unknown outcome of post season, but we were ready to do our best. As the weekend approached, we headed to Pasco and started going through the annual state rituals. Check in, go on a run, go to dinner, get some sleep. Yet at this point in the trip I began to feel sick.
I knew something was off but was unsure I was genuinely sick. Feeling nauseous and queasy, I spent almost every minute in my head convincing myself it was just nerves and I was going to be fine. But by the time Saturday rolled along and we were getting ready to race I was still going through my mental gymnastics to convince myself I was completely fine. Everybody was already nervous and felt the tons of pressure on their shoulders, I would do anything to convince myself I was going to race well and satisfy my new family. Yet sadly, no matter how many mental hoops I jumped through, my body wasn’t going to listen.
I bonked. I blew it. I went out well but by the mile and a half I was dead. My feet felt like cinder blocks and my body felt like it was burning energy as inefficiently as possible. Our number five passed me, then our six, and finally our seven. The screams of my coach as I stomped by did nothing that enabled me to run faster. I crossed the finish line and knew I could have potentially just cost us a state title. But after rejoining my team with terrified looks on their faces, we learned together that that wasn’t true. Our five, six, six, and seven that had passed me put it in high gear and did it. We were seven-time state champs. 
My team had my back. I had put so much pressure on myself that I had forgotten that cross country is a team sport. My teammates supported the team, they did what they were supposed to do and looked out for us. With this experience under our belt, we’ve learned to trust each other that much more. Each race we look out for each other. We are a family, and families have each other’s backs. The friendships that the Sehome boy's cross-country team has made these last years have been empowering. With another season under our belt, we have welcomed new members of our family that we trust all the same. With trust and close friendships, teams can accomplish almost anything.

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