SPORTS COLUMN: Perseverance leads to growth

Sports Editor

Perseverance is something that has pervaded my life since a young age. I started running cross country in the fifth grade and continued to run competitively through high school and my four years here at Franciscan. Throughout my 12 years of running, the importance of perseverance is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned.

There were many times when I had a bad practice or race and wanted to give up, but to give up would be selling myself short of the opportunity to grow. Some of my favorite memories from cross country come from opportunities in which my team and I had to persevere.

One time I twisted my ankle right before a race and couldn’t compete—leaving me on the sidelines while my teammates ran their races. In watching that race, I was able to really see the depths to which these runners dug to persevere through the physical and mental exhaustion. As I continued to heal, I was challenged to persevere in a new way through rehabilitation and patience with myself as I eventually got back to running again. The satisfaction of knowing you stayed strong in the face of adversity and gave everything you had is undeniably thrilling.

If you talk to any athlete I guarantee he will say he’s had to persevere through some trial in his sports arena and it made him a better player because of it. Our sports here at Franciscan are no exception to this concept of pushing on and not giving up. As relatively new members to the NCAA, all of our programs are young and continue to build on both the failures and successes of previous seasons to grow stronger year after year.

Our basketball programs are beginning to reveal the fruits that perseverance can bear when we stay patient. This season, the men’s team won its first game in over two years—giving testament to wanting to break free into a new level in the program’s history. They didn’t stop there as the Barons have won three games since then, two of which ended in nail-biting fashion.

The women’s basketball team also showed they were up to the challenge of persevering this season as only three of the team’s nine players are returners. In the beginning of the season, the team was unsure if they would have any substitute players in their games because players were battling injuries. However, coming back from winter break, the team added a few new players and cranked out three wins in ten days.

Sticking with something and not giving up may not show immediate incredible results, but little by little success is built on the foundation of people who persevere through tough times.

Although I learned the importance of perseverance through my participation in a sport, it’s a lesson that has been applied to all aspects of my life, in my relationships with friends and family, in my studies and in my spiritual life. So

keep on keeping on, everyone.

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