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“Is it really six days a week???”

I often hear that from the parents of new runners when they first join our program. And I recognize that the commitment of a distance runner is something that most young high schoolers cannot realize. But the magic of cross-country and distance training is that it is something that allows you to compete, not only against other athletes and teams, but against yourself. You can become the target, and your goals are to push against the desire to stop.

I was speaking with Ashley after her first CC time trial. She loves to “apologize” for not being the best. But when she told me that her mile time trial was over a minute faster than she had ever run before, I was so happy for her. Because CC is about setting goals, working to achieve them, and then revising afterwards.

“Everybody counts, or nobody counts.”

This has been a long running philosophy for me as a coach. It is easy to become distracted by the need for excellence and selfish results that we sometimes forget that our teammates are also pushing for that same excellence. The best coaches, and the best runners realize that the efforts of those around them are what makes this sport so rewarding.

You will be pushed through the hot summer months. Every step, every kick, every practice. Six days a week. But the part that really matters is that you see the person next to you. Make her stronger by your strength. Help him to push a little bit harder. And in the end, I know that you will reach some form of excellence.

Build your legacy. Leave footprints.

See you on the trails, Coach.

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