Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“You Gotta Believe.”

on June 4, 2012

CWXC Motto

Cross country is not a fun sport.  All who participate are a little insane, and together they enjoy the misery of training for a 5k race.  I was a member of a wonderful cross country team in high school, and this close-knit group was more like a family to me.  The team rules were quite simple:

1.  Do what’s right

2.  Do your best

3.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.

4.  Never quit.  Finish what you start.

The rules didn’t just apply to cross country time, they are life rules.  We never had cuts, but signing up for the team meant that you agreed to abide by these rules.  Maybe someday I’ll write a post on these rules, but that isn’t the focus of this post.

Our team also had a simple motto mantra.  “You Gotta Believe.”  Everybody pounded our coaches fist and exchanged a “You Gotta Believe” as he got off of the bus for a meet.  Signs and spectators reminded us of the mantra on the course during races.  It was a omnipresent reminder that in order to achieve any challenging goal, you first have to believe in it- not hope for it, not dream of it, not wish or beg or plead for it, but believe it.  No amount of training, hill repeats, long over distance runs, track workout, or plyometrics can bring you success if you don’t believe.

Our team did have its challenges.  We were intimated of some of the outstanding programs that we had to run against every year, teams with storied histories, more money, nicer uniforms, and larger more talented rosters.  But embracing our mantra, it wasn’t long before our team turned an 8-10 record around.  Soon, the boys would be unrivaled in the county and won the district championship.  Our runners would graduate and run at division 1 and 2 schools.  I’m very proud to say that I know first hand this stuff works.

Like the rules, this mantra isn’t just something for the team.  It’s a life lesson.  One morning, before I was headed to an exam, my coach sent me a text that said simply “You gotta believe.”  It settled my nerves and centered me.  My mantra was back.  You gotta believe.

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