Sharing the Monkey: The True Spirit of Cross Country

By Maddie Hoaglund, Class of 2017

Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This verse was the strength of the Westminster Cross Country team of 2012. The team desired to sharpen one another for the glory of God. Whether teammates were running at practice or studying for a test, the goal was for each person to strengthen another.

Cross Country is a team-oriented sport. In order for a team to place, at least five runners must participate. Each person depends on the team to succeed. This is a unique idea because a runner competes individually, yet scores as a team. Before the middle school championship in Scottsboro last year, Coach Callahan encouraged the girls’ team with an image of a monkey. “We all share the monkey. Each person can have a little bit if him. Someone can have an arm or a lip, but no one carries the whole thing.” Coach Callahan was attempting to convey the message that each person was not alone. The entire team shared the burden of running. The top runner or the second runner did not carry the team, but every teammate ran for one another. Every person on the team was necessary and important.

A true team runs not for the glory, but to have fellowship with others on the team. Furthermore, the ultimate goal is to improve in all aspects of life and to glorify God. Morgan Reynolds, the only senior on the cross country team, stated, “The purpose of cross country is to build character to be applied throughout your life. Cross country is not just a sport, where the goal is to win a trophy. It is a team oriented sport which teaches endurance.” Cross country develops habits of hard work and perseverance. Although trophies and championships are accomplishments, they are only impressive by the world’s standards.

The Westminster cross country team’s ultimate goal is to glorify God. If a team wins a championship while glorifying Him, then He receives the credit. Winning for Christ, is all about creating a platform in order to minister to others. The team strives to be a light to the world and live out the love of Christ. As Coach Thompson and Coach Carrell put it best, “The result of my efforts must result in His glory.” In conclusion, no matter how the team does, God will be glorified.

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