Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
Our school celebrated an incredible milestone last week as we participated in our first cross-country meet as part of the Central Florida Athletic Association! It took a Village to form the River Hawk Athletic Department, and our gratitude abounds for the time, energy, and effort put forth byCoach Josh, Coach Matt, Mrs. Terry, Ms. Berrada, and Dean Redondoto create our sports program. Over the first half of the school year, our teams will compete in Elementary and Middle School Cross County and Middle School Volleyball.
Running at first may appear as a singular sport. But at its core, running is about community, individual practice building to a group pursuit. Eighteen student-athletes from 3rd through 8th grade participated in the cross-country meet, and our hearts were filled with their passion, commitment, and drive. Watching our students run was amazing; watching our students and families cheer was transformative.
As Paul asserts at the beginning of Hebrews 12, therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight.
In psychology, this is known as social facilitation, where the presence of others improves a person's performance on a task. Or, as sports fans call it, home-field advantage, where cheering fans form part of the team, multiplying the efforts. In the National Football League each season, home teams have won more games than they lost. The only exception, the 2020 NFL season, played in empty and near-empty stadiums, was the first in which no significant advantage was recorded: home teams that year finished 127–128–1.
Support from a community matters. As the great sports commentator Bob Costas stated, the best thing about sports is the sense of community and shared emotion it can create.
And that is what happened with our runners. When they came to a part of the race where our Village stood in support, they ran faster, lighter, and more joyous. At the end of the race, as the runners neared the finish line and they could hear their names being cheered on, they found new strength to run. What had changed? Hearing, seeing, feeling the joy of family and friends watching you give your all.
Unity in God's Community is cheering on each other in the race of life. Supporting each other when the race seems more than we can manage. Reminding each other that this race is not run alone but side-by-side with our creator.
Together, let's cheer on all our students this year as they develop and grow. And when they tire and grow weary, let our voices of support help them preserve as we run this race of life for God, learning to soar as we serve.