Wolf Pride Lax

SACRIFICE

sacrifice

SACRIFICE – the strength to forgo one’s own benefit for the good of others.

RUNNER CARRIES INJURED OPPONENT

Josh Ripley didn’t have to stop. Running in a cross country meet the junior varsity runner was making his way through the trail and heard a loud scream during the first mile of a two-mile race. Most of the other runners didn’t pay too much attention to Lakeville South runner Mark Paulauskas, who was writhing in pain at the time, as they passed by.

The only person who decided to pay attention was Ripley. Ripley immediately noticed Paulauskas holding his bloody ankle. Then, instead of running back and calling for help, he did the only thing he could think of: he carried the injured runner a half mile back to coaches and family members.

“I didn’t think about the race, I knew I needed to stop and help him,” Ripley said. “It was something I would expect my teammates to do. I’m nothing special; I was just in the right place at the right time.

It was a good thing Ripley had the foresight to carry Paulauskas so he could be rushed to the emergency room. When Paulauskas arrived at the hospital, doctors realized he had been accidentally spiked by another runner’s shoe during the race. The injury required 20 stitches and a walking boot to keep the wounded area from opening up.

Ripley’s coach Scott Clark couldn’t believe what he heard when word got to him that Ripley was carrying another runner back to the starting line. “Then Josh comes jogging into view carrying a runner,” Clark said. “I noticed the blood on the runner’s ankle as Josh handed him off to one of the other coaches. Josh was tired and you could tell his focus was off as he started back on the course.”

After dropping Paulauskas off with his coaches, Ripley proceeded to go back and finish the race – even after carrying a kid for a half mile on the running trail. Admittedly he was a bit winded, but still completed the course.

It’s safe to say that the average athlete would have taken a breather and called off the rest of the race after such a harrowing and intense experience. Luckily, Ripley is clearly not the average athlete.

THINK ABOUT THIS

The runner did not have to stop. He chose to stop and help. Why do you think he did this?

Maybe some of his teammates got upset with him for stopping because it hurt their overall team time. If you were the coach of the team, how would you address the issue?

Think about the sacrifices your parents and others in your life have chosen to make to help you.

Think about the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for you on the cross.

As a member of this team make the sacrifice. Accept both praise and correction with humility.

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