Thursday, October 11, 2012

Brooke's Last Cross Country Season

To all my friends and family, thanks for all of the support of my running career. I finally have decided that it's been a good run (pun not intended), but I'm ready to hang up my spikes and move on with other things in my life. Running for the past few years has brought me so much joy. I have spent so much time dedicated to training and have felt the support from so many loved ones. This decision is a happy decision as hard as it may be to walk away right now.  I have struggled with performance anxiety in my races ever since I began running. After my season was over, I reflected upon this struggle and what I would do next and I finally feel complete and satisfied with the effort I put into my career. I have grown so much as a person through my running career and having to try and overcome many trials. Sometimes Heavenly Father does not give us the answer we want, but it is the answer that is best. Although running came with many heartaches, I am so grateful that Heavenly Father was able to use it to teach me lessons and strengthen my relationship with him. I was able to see His hand in my life so many times. 

Thanks to everyone for loving and supporting me through it all! I have had so many coaches (Kehoe, Sturgeon, Pozzi, Shane) that have been so patient and I am so grateful for the time they have given to help me develop this talent. Thanks to my family for adjusting their schedules and meal times to let me run no matter where we were. All of you have listened, supported, and watched some terrible races. I'm so grateful for your love and attention.

But most importantly thanks to my Dad! I know Heavenly Father gave me this trial so that our relationship would grow. Ever since I decided to start running seriously in 8th grade Dad jumped right on board. He was the first one to see my potential. He wanted to do everything possible to see me succeed. He was so patient. I don't know how he handled watching that many bad races, especially after all the time and effort he had put in it. He spent hours with me weekly working on running for the past 6 years. First, we had to understand cross country training. Both of us were clueless. So we went to Borders together and bought at least 5 books, which over the next year we read and highlighted together. Dad was determined to learn everything about the sport and so was I. Sunday nights consisted of planning out my mileage for the week. Dad received emails from all the top running magazines weekly with new articles, which he would then forward on to me. As I kept racing, Dad was so happy for me and excited for my success. When I failed, Dad was the first to give me a hug and cry a little for me. When I realized I needed more help in racing Dad never failed to find it for me. He was just as invested in my racing as I was. He would stop at nothing to help me. Whether it was riding 60 miles that week with me on a little island in Belize with pot holes and mosquito bites or if it was listening to a relaxation tape with me for 30 minutes, Dad would do it for me. Dad was always willing to do what was best for me and we got a LOT of quality time together. He is my best friend and he knows me better than anyone else. Running gave me this relationship, which is worth 1,000 bad races.

One of my favorite photos from my running career. 
My favorite thing about Dad is how we always cried together 
after almost every race, good or bad.

Here is a recap from my last cross country season.

 A couple weekends ago, Ashley and Kimber flew into Detriot 
and then drove to Toledo, Ohio to watch me race for BYU's cross country team!
 Visiting the Midwest was quite the adventure!
 BYU's cross country girls with their neon compression socks during the race!
Kimber and Ashley were wondering if there was some technical reason we wore those, 
but it's just so the coach can spot the girls!
Posing with my cousin Stephanie before warming up!
 Then before the girls came around the first corner, 
Ashley snapped photo of Kimber at 30 weeks.  Adorable!
 Such a cute little belly!  
I mean, really Kimber, you don't look 30 weeks pregnant at all!
Finishing strong.
 Then Dad flew out to Louisville to watch BYU XC team race the next week.
Seeing the sights around town with my Dad.
More fun photos from Kentucky and me and my cousin and teammate, Stephanie.
Dad and I went to the LDS temple in Louisville with the BYU XC team.
Spending time together, just me and my dad was the perfect way to end my career.  Love you lots, Dad!

-Brooke, forever "The Bear!"


Erica {let why lead} said...

Congrats, Brooke! You are amazing! This post brought tears to my eyes. It must be so hard to move on from something you have put so much time and heart into, but there are few things better than the feeling of being led.

On to the next big adventure!

Brad and Karen said...

Brooke, we are so glad we had the chance to participate in your races when you ran for GBHS - we were proud of you, no matter what the outcome! You are very wise to understand, at such a young age, that the results of a race are measured not only by a stopwatch, but on a much grander scale. It's that second measurement that has eternal consequences, and on that scale - you are a winner! We love you! E&S Wilkes

Carrie said...

Well done Brooke. I totally cried reading this too, not because you are retiring, but because of your insights into your running. You are my inspiration too! Knowing you have asthma...and you can do what you do made me realize I could step up my running. You are a running super star! I love how you and your dad researched what to do...I think your next post should be a more detailed description of advice to more novice runners...I have wanted to interview you about your running knowledge for a while now! You are awesome and I've been so impressed with you for years. Congratulations on so many accomplishments, on the courses, relationships, inside and all.

Allie said...

This was so tender Brooke! I have never seen anyone be more dedicated and work harder at something. You inspire me! I love the part about Dad. We are so lucky to have him as our Dad!! Best. Dad. Ever. I'm so excited for you and all the fun things you'll be doing now! I love you so much!