Why you — Yes, you — Should Join the Cross Country Team
By Fiona M.
Thank you, dear reader, for deciding it was worth your precious time to hear what on earth I can say to make running appealing. Okay, I know what you are thinking, “why would I join the team?” “I don’t like running!” “I can’t run.” “It’s painful!” I thought that too, but that was before I joined the team. I learned that it’s not all about running — we do actually have fun — and it doesn’t hurt that much (most of the time). You don’t have to like running, you don’t have to be “good,” you don’t even have to have ever run before, you just need an open mind and a pair of running shoes.
I could list all of the reasons why we are the best team — our team spirit, drive, enthusiasm, etc. — but I won’t bore you with that, even though we are pretty great. What I will say, is that if you decide to join us, you won’t regret it. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s easy, because it most certainly is not, but I can assure you that it is worth it. The euphoria that you feel after running a race makes all of the mud and cold and puddles — there are a lot of puddles — worth it.
Mind you, this team is not for the faint of heart. We aren’t afraid of the weather; we run when it’s snowing, raining, hailing, over 90°, and anything else our wonderful Buffalo weather brings. Yes, it’s cold (or hot — hot’s a problem too), but we’re all in it together. We don’t stop, there’s no half-time or time-outs, you go from the starting box, through the woods, up and down the hills, through the mud, and across the finish line. It doesn’t matter if you run the whole race or walk fifty times, so long as you keep going, you’ll finish strong.
I want to assure you that even though it’s sometimes hard, the team isn’t all work and no fun, we have easy practices, we play games, we don’t just run 24/7. And we enjoy ourselves — unless it’s hill repeats, hill repeats are hard to enjoy. We have an incredible coach, Coach Mary Beth Scott, who always makes sure we have a good time and sends out the absolute best newsletters. She is always there to encourage us, find something positive to say, or brighten our day in some way or another.
Now, I know that other teams say they have team spirit, but do they get awards for getting the muddiest? I don’t think so. And, do they get crowns for PRs (personal records)? Not to brag, but we get some pretty cool merch — does anyone else have blankets or totes from their sport? I don’t actually know, but I doubt it. This is not to take away from the other teams — they are incredible, and we love them very, very much — but really Cross Country is the best. And, when you join, you get to make Starbucks runs after practice or as a cool down — and seriously, who doesn’t like to get a nice refreshing drink after a hard workout?
We work hard, yes, but it pays off, winning dual meets and getting ribbons and medals is just the reward for working hard and running harder. And, after most races, we get to have our own little celebration in our lovely shelter, our team tent, or the trunks of our cars. Every race brings the team closer, everytime your teammates are cheering from the sidelines, it makes you run just a little faster, and every PR is an opportunity for us all to see the hard work you put in.
We don’t just run, we do so much more than that. We work together, one runner’s achievement is a win for all of us. We have fun together, when we get lost on a run — which happens way more than you’d think — or have arguments about the most ridiculous topics. This is a team where you will make friends without even trying to. Everyone on the team is incredible, just like all of our new members will be.
So, sign up for Cross Country and see what happens. Take a chance, try running, see what it’s like. You might surprise yourself. And, who knows, it may become your new favorite sport.