People ask me all the time, “Why do you run?” They struggle to understand why I put myself through the agony of running long distances or fast sprints.
Sometimes, I wonder why myself. It’s hard not to when you’re gasping for air at the end of a 400 meter sprint, or when you feel like you might faint at the end of a 5k race. But that mindset changes when you hit a new record, or run farther than you ever have before.
Then, it all becomes worth it.
Running on both the cross country and track and field teams at Albion has taught me a lot about what it means to work hard and be truly dedicated to a sport.
It has not only taught me how to push myself but also how to encourage my teammates while enjoying myself along the way. We work hard both together and individually. We travel just as much as any other sports team. We even have fun while we are running six or seven miles in one day.
We discovered the city of Albion in new ways. Our first experience with this small town wasn’t by driving through town to Cascarelli’s or Gina’s – it was by running through the campus, the town, the country side, and back.
Our experience with “hurricane Albion” on Sept. 11, this year didn’t involve gasping at the wind and rain from behind a window – no, we ran through that, dodging tree branches and shielding our eyes from the hail along the way.
As the 2013 cross country season came to a close last week, I decided to ask my teammates why they run in order to gain some more perspectives. The answers I received cannot be done justice through just words on paper, after all, the mindset of a cross country runner is not something easily described.
Best, then, to sit back and enjoy this sound slideshow. And then, I hope you’ll go out and hit your own favorite trail.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Likens