Thinking about pulling my hair back into ponytail, grabbing my spikes and jersey one last time, sets me back into the feels of being a student athlete. As the fall season rolls around, I’m driving by looking out my window at my small town, driving past my old high school seeing the boys practice outside on the field for football. I see the girls practicing soccer or tennis or whatever it may be. Then,I see the cross country runners. I never thought I would say it, but I do miss it.
At the time, I couldn’t wait until it was over. I am surprised now, two years later, that I am saying I miss my high school sports. I was never really dedicated to the sports I was in, I didn’t take them as seriously as I should have like how others did. It makes me feel a little regretful. I did the sport more for enjoyment and to stay in shape or for the people in it. I can remember looking at the clock, sitting in 6th hour, seeing the time come to 2:35pm, knowing I had to go to practice right after school; dreading it I might add. Taking on a sport in high school is a lot of hard work. There is a lot of time, commitment, and dedication put into it, along with doing school work, obtaining your social status in school and still making time for other activities. My advice to everyone in high school right now involved in a sport, don’t wish it away.
There was a time during high school where I didn’t think I could do it anymore so I decided to give it up, so I chose to quit one of my favorite sports. Realizing at the time that I should just grind it out, I decided to go back about a year or so later. Somehow I did miss running three-five miles everyday, missed the bus rides to meets, the pasta nights, the classic Duluth meet and the aches and pains and how tired you get. I don’t know how, but I did miss it all and I still do. It gave me that feeling of accomplishment when I got done with a race or even practice, that I should feel proud of myself and even proud of the team. Too many people underestimate the sport: cross country and track. For every runner out there, we all know that, "our sport is your sports punishment."
I always wished more people went out to try out for cross country. I guess it never really seemed to be the status quo, we had a lot smaller team because of it. All I know is that I made some really good friends on the team, some people I never would have thought about talking to before. It felt like a family, we were all so close. That’s what you should feel when you’re in a sport, through the good times and the hard times. You’re all in it together going through some of the same things. I enjoyed being on a team that was co-ed because a majority of sports is either just boys on the team or just girls. I got to see other people's perspectives on why they joined the sport themselves.
I can still feel my adrenaline going thinking about running a race. That's how I know I still miss it. I can still picture every course I have ever ran like no other. I just hope everyone can have that same feeling and experience as I did, and still feel it two years later.