|Securing their timing chips at State Cross Country 2011|
Friday, August 10, 2012
Cross Country Practice Begins
Cross country practice began today. I’m not a coach, but I do volunteer to help with the team. That means I run with them and try to encourage the stragglers. The trouble is I am often one of the stragglers. Running with high school kids is a challenge! I am already looking forward to the day the middles school runners begin practicing in a couple weeks. Some of them are more my speed.
It isn’t the mileage that gets to me. I can go the distance. The speed, however, is a bit more challenging. We only ran a total of four miles today and my legs are already crying at me. I know … it’s good to push myself. (I preach that all the time.)
Something I enjoy most about cross country, aside from watching kids learn how to push themselves, is the camaraderie amongst the team. Maybe it has something to do with mutual respect as each runner knows the effort involved in the sport. Chatting with a teammate while logging miles and miles is sure to build a friendship. Maybe it is an “us against them” attitude fostered by the lack of popularity and glory associated with cross country. Spectators are welcome, but they, too, will be called upon to log a few miles if they hope to view much of any race. Whatever the cause, cross country athletes bond together and cheer one another on towards achievement. They become friends much like family and they take pride in the fact that while other athletes are punished with a mile run they can say, “A mile run? That’s just our warm-up.”