Each time that I stood on the starting line for my high school cross country races, it would strike me as odd that the finish line was 3 miles away, but also plainly in sight only 10 yards to my right. Most cross country courses are arranged in a loop so that the efforts from your hard-fought race ironically get you right back to where you started! Just as interesting to me is that on our team’s home course the runners also make multiple smaller loops, passing by the finishing line at other points in the race. Just like the starting and finishing area for cross country is more than just a small patch of grass, my house is more than just the building that provides shelter for my family. It is home to the course that I am running in my life. It has been my starting line, my finish line, and a place that I will pass through for encouragement in the middle of the races in my life.
My home has given me a solid foundation from which I can confidently embark on life’s adventures. When I picture my home as a starting line, my parents are the coaches and my three siblings are my teammates. My parents have coached me and prepared our family team for whatever shows up along the race courses that we all run each day at school and at work. For the bigger or longer “races,” my team and coaches are right there at home to help me get warmed up, make final preparations, and even do a final team cheer before I charge out the door and across the starting line of our home.
My home is also my finish line, the place I know that I will end up no matter the course I am running. I know I can always go home, always find my team and coaches, and always be greeted by cheers even if I didn’t run my best race that day. I may be exhausted from the race and barely stagger across the finish line, but I know my efforts are worth it and will be celebrated by my team when I get home.
As I am growing and starting to get busier and navigate longer courses away from home, I can still hear the cheers of my team and coaches in the distance; and just like our cross country course, my busy course of life still loops me by our home for encouragement and advice as I am working, studying, spending time with friends, and planning for the future.
What makes my house a home is the support I receive from my parents and siblings, my family team. As I stand at the starting line for my college career, I know that no matter how far I run or the route I take, I can always find my finish line at home.