"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
I take this to mean more than just about one's own gifts, dedication, and training, but about the responsibilities that each athlete has to their teammates, team, school, and the opportunities they have been given to be where they are. For the past four years I have had the privilege to participate in cross country and track. These sports have been more than amazing experiences for me. I have met many great runners and have created strong friendships with my teammates. We are dedicated to each other and the team. Every day and every race we give everything we have. We don't want to sacrifice anything to hurt ourselves and each other. Steve Prefontaine's quote holds true to us, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift"; we continue to give everything, trying to exceed our limitations and not give up what we have worked so hard for.
Since being elected captain of both the cross country and track teams back in my junior year, I have come to see Steve's quote in a new light. Being captain I have a duty to serve and be an example for my teammates. My gift of being a leader cannot be sacrificed for any reason. I am committed to the gift I have been given. The gift of leadership comes with choosing to have a positive attitude in every practice and meet no matter the circumstance. I have been honored to be put in a leadership position where I am to live out everyday a diligent work ethic in practice, meets, school, and maintain a life of integrity to represent what our North Bend High School cross country and track athletes/teams are supposed to live out; to sacrifice that would hurt my teammates and team.
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." I take this to mean more than just about one's own gifts, but the 'gift' is of responsibilities, opportunities of leadership, and team ship. This quote and what it means to me doesn't only apply to my high school life, but will be taken with me to college and help me in participating in community service, outdoor, and running clubs. Steve's quote will dwell in me where ever I go, and I will share it with others around me.