Speech: My Cross Country Story

The following is my cross country speech for our year-end banquet. Enjoy!

Hey guys, my name is John Riker. I want to start off by giving thanks to God for giving me the gift to run, to my caring coaches, to my supportive teammates, to my awesome family, and to the entire Wootton XC community. I love you guys.

Coming into high school, I had one main goal- winning states. That goal never seemed closer than after counties my junior year, when I ran the best time of my career and I believed that I could challenge for that coveted state title.

But States did not go to plan. I finished in 39th place, and afterward I was so distraught that Coach Buxton had to put my sweatpants on for me. I was disappointed that day, but even more so in the coming months when I wondered if I’d ever get back to the top level. In my cross country journal, I concluded junior year with my main takeaway- “cross country isn’t a story you write, it’s a story you live.”

It’s a nice thought, but I’ve learned that the times and places aren’t really the story at all. The story is your attitude through everything, and how cross country changes you as a person. And over my four years on the team, being a part of this cross country team has changed me significantly, and for the better.

To my fellow seniors, you have inspired me and I want you to take a moment to appreciate all that you have accomplished these four years. To the younger runners, I urge you all to put that physical and mental commitment into this sport, and to write your own story. Thank you.

One thought on “Speech: My Cross Country Story

  1. I enjoyed your speech John. That thought came to me that while you did not meet your junior year ago, you are learning important lessons and life. Probably the most important goal or lesson I’ve learned in life when things don’t go the way I have planned is that I need to learn what God‘s plan is for my life. My goals are a lot harder to achieve then God’s goals for my life. this week I just sat down and read a nice fiction book and all of the sudden I felt joyful and peaceful. I then just leave the book down and I could feel God‘s presence and peace. That is his goal for my life – to just relax and enjoy His presence. I am learning to do this even in the midst of chaos!
    As I look around my apartment and see all the things that need done, I remembered to do something relaxing and then I feel God‘s presence and feel rejuvenated and all of the sudden I’m getting things done that seem like such a burden before.

    I know God has good plans for you and I am so excited to see God working in your life. Perhaps he had a reason for you not winning the race in your junior year; Perhaps he had different and greater plans for your time and your life. Love, grandma Angie


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