An Essay by Lauren McGowne
Success came easily during my 2010 and 2011 track seasons, but 2012 was disappointing. My jumps coach took a leave of absence and instead of believing in myself, pushing harder, and knowing that I could compete successfully, I lost the self-confidence needed to be competitive. I started getting weaker marks and felt as if I was letting everyone down. What I saw as failure created such pressure that I lost sight of the real reason I was there: my love of the sport and camaraderie of my teammates. I started my 2013 season in November with a fresh attitude and desire to believe in myself and the goals I had set. I put the memories of 2012 behind me and came in with a mindset that I will work as hard as I can at each and every practice, I will give 110% in each and every event I am competing in, and I will not sacrifice the gift. Because I am devoted to giving my best, I have started the season with faster times and better jumps than I thought imaginable. I have fallen in love again with the camaraderie and competition that track and field provides, all because I believe in my gift. The goals I once thought were lofty are within reach, and I am not going to settle for less. "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift" will motivate me through my final season of track and field at Marshfield as well as my next adventure at Southern Oregon University. I will give my best, I will reach my goals and I will be the best that I can be.