The Spirit of Endless Tenacity

Isabel ZhangSeptember 5, 2023Courage

Community could be as small as a high school dorm or as interconnected as a shared racial identity. The bonds within a community go far beyond what can be seen by the naked eye, connecting a diverse group of people despite spanning cities and counties. Our communities encourage us in performing courageous acts, offering boundless spirit to all within – a so-called community spirit. One such community of mine is my track and field training squad, who embody the spirit of endless tenacity and continually inspire courage within me.

Community spirit is running a leg in the 4x400 relay, handing the baton on the brink of collapsing, yet somehow summoning the energy to yell and cheer-on the next runner. Knowing that they have done the same while you were running, you try to inspire them to give more, run faster, and finish stronger. Despite knowing they are in the zone and unable to hear your cheers, you shout to try to inspire further courage anyway on the off-chance that they can hear you.

Community spirit is being able to compete against each other as the fiercest competitor, yet being able to stand on the top of the podium together as relay teammates. Courage is our strength to give it our all against our comrades and hoping to win against them. It is the ability to triumph over heartbreaking losses and endlessly seek a personal best performance. It is going through defeats and victories together with your teammates, wishing them the best and wholeheartedly celebrating them when they run well and one-up you, knowing that they would do the same in return.

But community spirit is also watching one of your best friends take a tumble clipping her foot on a hurdle in first place, and start cheering louder as she finishes the race in second-last place with a massive grin. It is the courage to keep going despite missing national qualification by a tenth of a second. It is the tenacity to persevere even when you are too injured to compete in a major meet.

Community spirit is not only succeeding together but also having the courage to fall, knowing that there will always be support. These significant relationships help us find the tenacity to persevere through failure. Yet even when we falter or stumble, they offer boundless support in helping us to the next part of our journey.

Our community inspires us to perform acts of courage we would otherwise be unable to do. Despite this, it is ultimately ourselves who make the choice to live fearlessly. We are continuously surrounded by the most courageous people, yet without the willingness to take a blind leap, we never truly realize this extensive support. By putting our unwavering trust into our communities, we truly live with courage to continuously aim higher knowing that we always fall into the arms of those around us. We can collapse together with our teammates at the end of a hard Tuesday afternoon training session, clothes dyed red by the setting sun and laughing about how exhausting that session is. Yet it is with our own unwavering spirits and courage from within that sees us relentlessly coming back with a hunger to give more, run faster, and finish stronger.

Isabel Zhang is 15 years old and lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to write about topics she holds close to her heart, such as her involvement in her sport and her local community, as well as a diverse range of social issues that pique her interest.