Anderson gives it a shot

There is a woman

 on DMACC’s cross country team who has never run cross country before.  In fact, this is her first time ever participating in a sports team… ever.

The Bears have a five member running group this year.  The team ran in the Bill Buxton Invitational in Indianola on Sept. 1. 

Before the race, the first-time cross country runner Cassie Anderson initiated candid conversations with her teammates while warming up: adding the shoe number to her laces, wondering why she even does this to herself, and reflecting on the feeling of accomplishment once she’s done with the actual race.

When the race was over, Anderson said, “I just want to be a part of something bigger than myself.” 

Five days after the race, Anderson sat down to reflect on her season so far and reasons for joining.

“I used to be afraid of people in my neighborhood seeing me run,”  Anderson said.  Even a year ago, there is no way that she would have been capable of joining a team she didn’t have experience in. She described herself as, “scared, shy, insecure.”

There were two people in her life who greatly affected her self confidence:  a theater director who taught her about compassion and ex-boyfriend who she refers to as her “Obi-wan.” 

It took those two key figures in her life, as well as confronting behavioral health issues she had struggled with through medical care, to get to a place where she wanted to try, Anderson said, “Something new… something I’d absolutely never tried in my life before.”

Before the semester started, Anderson started her cross country recruitment request with a disclaimer: “This sounds weird, strange, and completely insane… I want a challenge.”

After attending her first practice, she started comparing herself to her teammates. 

“Coach said, ‘stop it’!”  Anderson said.  So she did. 

“I am addicted to improvement,” Anderson said.  “I have two goals:  to run a 5k all the way through and to keep improving every week. Even if I have to stop, my overall goal is to improv

e on time [at meets].” 

So far, she’s been meeting her second goal consistently.  With a built in group of friends and motivators, difficult practices on the back nine of the Boone golf course, and a new clean eating diet and focus on nutrition, her times have steadily dropped.  

“I’m going to do amazing things,”  Anderson said.  And about her goals, “I’ll get there by the end of the season.”

What advice does Anderson have for students looking to join a new organization? 

“Give it a shot,” Anderson said.


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