Running is one of those things that I seem to enjoy for some reason that I can't quite put my finger on. I love going on eight mile runs during practice when I don't have to think or worry about anything - I feel like I escape to another place. There's something called "Runner's High," and you can achieve it after running for a certain period of time and you sort of forget about pain and just about everything else and you feel like you could run forever and never tire out.

It's weird, at first I joined my school's Cross Country team to stay in shape for softball. Cross Country is one sport that not a whole lot of people would be able to handle, because running doesn't require natural talent. The best runner is the runner with the most drive and ability to push their limits as far as possible. The feeling I get after completing an eight or nine mile run, or breaking my time for a three mile run is so fulfilling. Running gives me a sense of accomplishment and I feel like I could just run all of my troubles away.

I think it's funny how something as miserable as running brings me, and everyone else on my team, such satisfaction. Because nearly everyday at practice, especially after a grueling 6 AM Monday practice, after sprinting a total of four miles at the track, we will usually ask each other, "Why the hell did we join this sport?" And we swear that we want to quit and we hate running, but we still come back everyday and have the most fun ever. We're such a tight group. There's really no ego or "jock attitude" on our team. We're just a bunch of nutjobs who like to put ourselves through as much suffering as possible every day for two hours and we love every minute of it.

Cross Country is a super-intense sport and it deserves a lot more credit that it receives. If you're willing to try something new, or maybe if you're just having a crappy day and you feel really angry or confused, upset, whatever - maybe you should try a run. That's how my love for running all began. Maybe every step you take can be another step towards escaping your biggest fears or faults, even if it's just for a short while. Running sort of puts the world on pause, and it leaves you, the ground beneath your feet, and wherever your feet take you. It may not work for everyone, especially since running isn't very appealing at first glance, but it might be worth a try.
Posted on October 22nd, 2008 at 02:04pm


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