Cross country creates comradery


I come from humble beginnings. I was the kid who showed up to gym in sweatpants and who got lapped four times on a six-lap run. As I grew up, my athleticism stayed relatively consistent. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always played sports; I just have never been particularly good at the running aspect of them.

So when my brother Evan started going to conditioning for cross country freshman year, and my mom asked if I wanted to go with him, I scoffed at her. I told her I hated getting up early, I hated running and that I would never do cross country.

However, during my sophomore year, I desperately wanted to be involved in a sport. I wanted to participate in team dress up days and challenge myself. I wanted to wear sporty clothes and be commended for being athletic rather than judged for bumming.

For these reasons and many more, I decided to try out for spring track. Even though I knew my running was horrendous, I figured that Evan was already involved in it and could give me all of the information I needed. I trained for about a week and made the half mile time by the smallest margin. Evan was standing at the far curve of the track during my tryout and told me I could make it, but I’d have to sprint. Never have better results come from such simple advice.

Since my tryout sophomore year, I haven’t stopped running. I know that I will never be the best runner, but I have come such a long way. I’ve gone from running just over a ten-minute mile to running just over a ten-minute mile pace for ten miles, and I owe that entirely to my teammates.

All of the amazing people on the cross country team somehow make even the most painful runs fun, and I couldn’t be more thankful to them or the coaches for changing my life.

Being a member of the cross country team has taught me a lot of lessons, but most importantly it’s taught me what tenacity truly is. It has taught me that perseverance isn’t optional and that truly anything can be accomplished when you try ten times harder than you think is your hardest.

I will carry these lessons with me for the rest of my life and I hope that I will never forget the sense of accomplishment that comes from running because I have yet to find many feelings that compare to crossing the finish line of a cross country race.