“Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance… you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet. But when you are through, exhilarated and exhausted, at least for a moment everything seems right with the world.” - The Essence of Running
We are so proud of Emily (14)! She made the High School Cross Country Team! This is a major accomplishment and the first time she has ever been on a team. We are super excited for her! The experience of being part of team is like none other. She has already met her new coach, her team leader and some of her teammates. It seems like this group is very close-knit and supportive, so we are excited for all the possibilities that her freshmen year in high school will bring.
Running isn’t for everyone. Lots of people told her not to join the team because it was “too much of a time commitment” and that the practices were “long and hard”. Last week, she started voluntary summer training. They are meeting and running 3 times a week in June and July, and then in August, they start mandatory training early in the morning, 6 days a week, every week. I don’t about know about you, but I couldn’t do that. I can barely haul my butt off the couch. The most exercise I get is punching computer keys while lounging in an office chair.
Some of her friends told her they thought she was crazy because “nobody likes to run.” That’s not true, there are lots of famous and not-so-famous athletes that find running uniquely challenging, invigorating and rewarding.
Runners, like Emily, are unique and unusual individuals who share some common personality traits:
- They are Active. They enjoy being “on the go” or “in a hurry” to get things done.
- They are Vigorous. They love being outdoors in any kind of weather, and prefer the outdoors over sitting in the house any day.
- They are Impulsive. They have a tendency to make quick decisions and also have the ability to switch from one task to another easily.
- They are Stable. They have the ability to remain calm and relaxed in a crisis.
- They are Reflective. Runners find long runs relaxing and an excellent time to think through problems.
- They don’t mind Solitude. Long distance runners compete more with themselves than with other runners, and appreciate the “me time”.
When Emily starts school in the fall, she will have already formed bonds with new team members and will, hopefully, have some brand new friends to start high school with. And speaking of new friends, she can’t wait meet a great guy some day, and get in the “dating game”. She and her friends love to talk about dating and what it will be like. So Emily came up with several reasons why a guy should choose a Cross Country girl, over any other gal, to be his girlfriend:
Top 10 Reasons to Date a Cross Country Runner:
- We run because we LIKE to, which will probably intimidate you. And INTRIGUE you.
- We GLISTEN with a healthy glow.
- We love food. I can eat more than you and still remain thin and gorgeous.
- We are a cheap date. I will usually order water.
- Short shorts, awesomely toned legs. Enough said.
- We aren’t afraid to be dirty, sweaty and make-up free. But I clean up nicely, too.
- We are not high maintenance. We don’t take two hours to do our face, and dressing up means not wearing running shoes. I actually prefer T-shirts and jeans.
- We will probably educate you about your poor eating and exercise habits, which is an excellent reason to go out with us. You will become healthier.
- We are comfortable with ourselves and will never ask you, “Does this skirt make my butt look big?”
- Dating a Cross Country runner will increase your chances of survival. If there happens to be a Zombie Apocalyse or Alien Invasion, I can outrun the zombie or alien and get help in under 7 minutes per mile.
Is running in the summertime going to be hard? God, yes! Getting up at 6:00 in the morning while every other teenager on the planet is sleeping until noon, is going to be extremely hard. It is 100 degrees in the shade by 6:00 in the morning here in Texas. The mosquitos are bigger than jetliners, the humidity will make you pour out 10 gallons of sweat, and the sun will fry you like crispy bacon. But Emily wants to do it. She likes to do it. And she has what it takes: strength, endurance and determination. And maybe a tiny bit of insanity.
Those are the same things you need to get through life, right? Especially when the going gets tough, and the wimps are still sleeping. Yep, it ain’t for everyone. But I feel inspired by this kid, so I think I might just get off the couch myself this summer.
Emily, we’ll be there to cheer you on this fall, so GET OUT THERE and kick some Cross Country butt. YOU GO, GIRL!