Emma ran her first 5K in the fourth grade; She did not walk once. Her innate drive was awe inspiring. Having been raised with four brothers, she learned early to “hang tough.” In middle school, she joined the cross-country team and found herself a “home” in running shoes. Her love of running carried into high school and she competed on the team for four years.
There is something special about runners. They get right to the heart of life. They avoid pomp and circumstance and relish the little things: fresh air, a clear road, quiet, and running shoes.
Emma is not one for the spotlight or drama, but she enjoys a challenge. Having watched her compete over the years, has brought so much joy to my heart. There were good races, bad races, and every other race in between. While she did not get her father’s 6’3” frame, she got his heart both in and out of her running shoes.
Her times improved steadily as she continued running. There were bumps, bruises, muscles aches and stress fractures along the way, but she always seemed to battle back. Until… junior year. It just didn’t seem to happen for her. Unfortunately, nothing else went well either. Her mental and physical health took a tumble. Emma dug her feet in firm and grasped to what she knew with all of her might. In the darkness, she found her faith and her faith sustained her. Her faith led her.
Her coaches and teammates sustained her. Emma’s teammates became her best friends and her family. And her Coaches became sources of strength and inspiration. Rigby and I ran with Coach Mariam Steffensen in high school. Having her coach Emma these past four years has been amazing. Mariam has a heart of gold and although she has a small frame, she is a giant- A giant not just for our Emma but for every athlete with whom she works. That’s what sets her apart from other coaches. You don’t have to be a star to matter to Mariam; You just have to BE.
Mariam Steffensen Shared with permission from Coach Steffensen·
Behind the 3rd place Another season of xc has come and gone and this is one of my most favorite pictures of the season taken at the region meet in Price, Utah. The smiles adorn by all are the results of five months of miles, shin splints, gum, water, icing, miles, peppermint oil, a healed stress fracture, deep blue, miles, a new stress fracture, PRs, tang, granola bars, and more and more miles. From the outside looking in a person will see the results of a 3rd place team finish at the two most important races of the season. Someone that knows the sport will notice the point spread between the top 3 teams. The tight 11-point spread screams a battle for the title. A battle that determines who advances to the state meet. Who knew that the same place results for the same three teams would repeat at the big state meet in 6 days Another person looking in may pay attention to the seconds even minutes that have been shed throughout the season with each PR and each course run. Unless someone is really paying attention they don't know that we won an invite and placed 3rd and another big invite. While the JV team had 3 victories both varsity and JV turned heads with the new teal uniforms running in close packs along the course. Most important, we will know the hot August temps., elements of rain, lightning delays, wind, and in the end the most beautiful fall we have been privileged to train in. With each mile, interval, stride, and stretching session, team members became friends even soul sisters. Behind the smiles on the coach's faces is the empathy for the aches and pains that come to the runners during a hard workout and race as well as the heartache that comes with 'off days' and missing the goal by just a little bit. But also the excitement and joy with every PR and the finish of something hard. Two coaches are not pictured that have cheered us on watching live results and calculating each point as each runner finishes. Behind the smiles of a great team is love and respect for each member along with the battles they each fight on their own... and the battles they win together. Yes, 3rd is still 3rd... but if this is 3rd with my team... I will take it.
And Emma has COME to BE.
Senior year she was asked to be team captain. It was an answer to prayer on so many levels to both hers and mine. While watching her excel as an athlete was rewarding and breathtakingly beautiful, watching her help others do the same was unmatched. I watched Emma BECOME.
Become means: 1. To come into existence 2. to come to be 3. to undergo change or development 4. to be suitable to. Emma you are the very definition of BECOME!
Emma was this year's recipient of the STRONG award chosen by her fellow athletes. The award reads, "I am agirl that is strong. I rung to HELP, to SAVE, to PROTECT. A girl that RUNS AT my Fears. I needed a hero so I BECAME one.
Senior year wrap up: 496 miles, two pairs of running shoes, countless gallons of water, blood, sweat, tears, sore muscles, ice baths, potty stops, and memories to last a lifetime and today it came to an end. Emma Rigby there is no end to what you can do. Remember the best is yet to come!
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far go together."
I'm from Canyon View and couldn't be prouder." Love you so much baby sister!