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June 28, 2011 / windlessly

I’m a Little Scared of Cross Country Runners

Cross country runners can’t possibly be human. Every time I see one running on the streets, I stop and gape, feeling miserable about myself and the world in general because I can’t do what they do. I do a fair bit of running, but not nearly enough to even compare to the distances that some of these alien robots cover on a daily basis.

Alright, not every human was built to run like these monsters do. It’s just not natural. Occasionally I see people who are cross training or running to prep for a different sport, like myself. I would say that’s fairly admirable. The really hard core ones might even run as much as cross country runners do. But to take the act of running- edit: the act of running really really really LONG distances- into a sport… man, that’s just intense. And it’s not just the short shorts, intimidating as they might be, but the way these guys and girls commit to their sport. One of my good friends (yes, I am friends with one of these strange creatures) once said that running was almost like a religion to him, and that he runs to keep himself true- physically, emotionally, spiritually. His whole mentality was focused around the fact that he ran for himself, and as long as he was satisfied and happy with himself he wouldn’t care at all what others thought of him.

And in his words, cross country is truly a developmental sport. It requires a person to be brutally honest with themself. Every day of training requires commitment. And that’s one of the things I admire most about my friend is that he gives it his all, and isn’t willing to sacrifice his training for anything.

I wish I could be more like them. In all aspects of my life, not just athletics. I feel that self discipline and hard work, two very important aspects of cross country running, are necessary for any avenue of life. I see a cross country runner in a race and I know they are mentally focused, fighting through the pain and constantly willing themself to perform better.

There’s a reason people have associated training the body with training the mind. Cross country can be seen as the apotheosis for this, the embodiment of a sport that is truly comprised of just a person, his (or her, plenty of female cross country runners out there I wish I were friends with xD) willpower, and many many miles of road. I probably won’t ever have the patience or the discipline to take on cross country, but for those who are, keep running. You show the rest of us how to live.

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