The Sisterhood of Joining a Sport

Throughout my years of school the glorious sport of cross country has always loomed over me. I honestly don’t think I could have gotten through all seven years of it without the girls who ran beside me. 


Being a cross country runner means you belong to a sisterhood. In this sisterhood, team members go beyond supporting each other. At the beginning of the season, they start off as individuals with a common passion and, before long, evolve into a family.  Early on, the loss and gain of team members creates a tense atmosphere. Some players are taller, stronger, and more experienced than others, but members eventually learn how to overcome their weaknesses. This may be challenging, but in the end the girls become better players. The runners learn to build trust over time. To them, this is a lifelong relationship. Even after graduation, the bond is still there. The sisterhood makes them resilient; they open up and expose feelings, making what they share sacred.


Trust and commitment is essential. Everyday we would pull each other outside no matter what the weather and run the eight giant hills surrounding the school, finding the most interesting ways to complain without saying “can’t” or “hate”- because saying those would mean we had to rerun the biggest hill. All of us. 


Cross country isn't just a competitive sport, it’s a mindful sport, most of the time you're running alone and it;s just you and your thoughts. That's why  it’s so important to stick together. There are people who take advantage of women who want to get ahead. It can make them vulnerable. Cross-country women get their strength from their teammates, out of breath running in front of the looking back and challenging them to come and beat them, because though cross country is a mind game that doesn't mean two minds can't think alike. 


Knowing there are people who will listen and understand you is what the sisterhood is all about. One can receive or give mutual support and speak honestly. Sometimes it’s a shoulder to cry on, while other times it’s to celebrate success. It is the strength and voice in sisterhood that creates a spiritual connection. One that influences my everyday life.