Written By: Kassie Lange | Women's Cross Country
The cross country team at Neumann University defines stewardship as being grateful for our resources and making the most out of what we are given and using it in the most righteous way possible. For us, stewardship looks like observing what we are given and using it to our advantage. Cross Country is not like other sports. We do not play on a field that is well kept or clearly outlined. We run on courses that sometimes work against us. Our courses can range from flat to hilly, rocky to muddy and hundreds of other runners to 50 runners. Have you ever tried to run up a steep hill alongside of 15 other runners pushing their way to the top? We have. We use those hills to our advantage by powering up to beat our competitors to the top. From there we do not slow down. We use the top of the hill as recovery and to gain distance on those we previously passed.
The example Fully Aware on the Reflection Pillar pertains most to my team. It reads, “It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another…. I didn’t realize.” As a Cross Country runner our goal is to finish in the lowest place with the lowest time. Our races go by quick and we must always be aware of our standing during the race. We also use reflection as a major key in success. As a team we reflect on our performance and use practice to reduce our time in the next race.
The Cross Country team maintains stewardship by taking those experiences on a tough course and using that to help our performance should we return. We are well prepared for a course prior to the race and make the most out of it. Everyone has tough battles within themselves during a race. Last season, I unfortunately ran into my own battle by suffering an injury 2 days before the championship meet. Due to my injury I was unable to run. When I was told that I couldn’t run I let it get the best of me and became really upset.
After reflecting on my season and injury, I came to the conclusion to use my sadness to get better as soon as possible for my upcoming cross country and track seasons. God sent me a message that I needed to rest up for something greater coming soon in my future. I will take my experience from last season and put in more work and run harder to help our team place in the championship meet later this season.