Why Do I Run Cross Country? | Teen Ink

Why Do I Run Cross Country?

September 29, 2014
By lilnohaa BRONZE, San Jacinto, California
lilnohaa BRONZE, San Jacinto, California
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Many of my friends wonder why I do it. Sometimes I question why I am doing it myself. I spend hours upon hours running, and for what? Why would I put myself through this easily avoidable torture? There has to be an answer, although I'm not too sure on what it is. Maybe it's because the rush of excitement that flows through you on the starting line, or maybe it's the deep amount of pride you feel when you finish the race at an even better time you were aiming for. The answer could lay in the friendship I've made with my fellow teammates, or the long vacation-like trips filled with running. Perhaps it's for the pure adventuring of the outdoors, or maybe it's for the sake of getting into shape for another sport. Whatever it is, I can honestly say I'm devoted to the sport, and at the end of every day I still have an immense amount of passion for it.

Everyday is an adventure in cross country. Each run is unique and it keeps things fresh and new. When you're running with a group of friends that you enjoy the company of, it makes things more fun. During easier runs, you can have interesting conversations with your pack of runners. There are tons of unique places to go, and if you have a positive attitude about running, it will encourage yourself to continue running. Even if you're running cross country as training for another sport, if you're with people that you like you will have a good time. The amount of mileage cross country runners do will help just about any athlete with their stamina, and will help them be successful in another sport.

I would say the trips I've taken in cross country have given me some of the best memories in high school. My first trip was to Mammoth, California. There, the top twelve runners stayed for a week, to train and spend time with each other. I was able to develop great friendships with new people, and become even closer with friends I was already near to. We went on very different runs in this new area, which were very scenic and very enjoyable. I had the time of my life doing numerous activities including hiking to lakes, playing ping pong, taking long walks to monumental locations, swimming, and much more. The other trip I had in cross country was my overnight trip to Santa Barbara, California for a race. The race was my first, and it was really extraordinary because at one point you can see the absolutely gorgeous beach as you run by. After our race, my team was able to have the opportunity to have the rest of the day at the beach and we enjoyed the wonderful beach life. I've experienced many new things since I've been on the cross country team.

Your perseverance is ultimately payed off on race days. I especially enjoy Saturday invitational race days, in which you can leave wearing an honorable medal that seems to make all the hard days worth it. The typical race day is led up to with careful dieting and training, so you can ensure you're at your best for the event. It's very exciting to wake up the morning of your race. I normally eat a healthy light breakfast, put my uniform and sweats on, listen to my motivational soundtrack, and head off for the race. The races are crowded with other runners on different teams, looking to compete just as much as you are. All the teams set up an area where you stay when you're not warming up, racing, or cheering on your other teammates during their races. As the time for your race nears, you begin to warm up doing a light run and various drills with your cross country peers. The moments before a race are thrilling, but you also feel a large sense of nervousness. You're standing on the starting line warming up still, but your thoughts are focused on how you will do and if your goal this race will be achieved. The teams finishes their warm ups on the starting line, and you get instructed the basic rules for the start of the race. As you wait for the gun to sound off you can't help feeling an endless amount of butterflies. “On your marks,” the instructor says as hundreds of kids stutter up to the line, and “BANG!” you're off on to the race! The beginning is extremely quick and it's a rush of kids, like a herd of buffalo, trying to reach a good place to start. If you're feeling good, on the race, it goes by like a blur. You pass runner after runner. During the race you can't help but hear the encouragement of your friends and family cheering you on to run as hard as possible. The race eventually gets to the point where you can sense the end nearing, and that's where you “kick” and begin to speed up. If you can see the starting line, you sprint, hoping to beat all the other kids that are next to you. The time next to the finish is the determining factor upon your satisfaction with the race. When you are finished you are motioned through a chute, where you receive your medal if you earned one, and exit. Racing never fails to give me a great sense of achievement when I have finished.

Although running thirteen miles in a hundred degree blistering hot heat may be very exhausting, it's all worth it because my cross country experience has been absolutely marvelous. If you're debating whether or not to come out and join your cross country team, I would definitely say go for it, and try it out!

The author's comments:

Running can be fun with the right attitude!

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This article has 1 comment.

on Oct. 18 2016 at 4:56 pm
AddyE.Z. BRONZE, Myerstown, Pennsylvania
4 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"...you'll do less damage."
"I'll damage you if you don't shut up!"
-Sabine Wren and Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

OMG! I run XC myself, and you got this in a nutshell. Love it!