You and your opponent want the same thing. The only thing that matters is who works the hardest for it.
A good run feels like being part of the wind, flowing down the street with a power so strong yet so gentle. It feels like fire, warmth spreading from head to toe instantly. It feels like a shower for the soul, fresh and clear. The sun tickles your fingertips and you could go on forever. In those moments, the world seems so simple and the edge of heaven seems right at your fingertips. And non runners always ask why running is enjoyable. I just shrug because I know the secrets of a distance runner cannot truly be expressed in words to those who have not experienced the wind, fire, and water.
But the strategy in cross country is simple and brutal. You go out and run and you run until you think you simply cannot take one more step, you run until it feels like your head is a hornets’ nest with its own population explosion and your lungs are on fire and your heart is a beating jackhammer fast and your stomach is churning with nausea and your legs weigh 400 pounds apiece and you’re wondering seriously about your own sanity, wondering why the name of exhaustion you ever answered the starter’s gun … well, you run until all of this happens … and then you run some more.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all people had the spirit of a runner? If they waved to strangers, as a runner waves to other runners? It would be beautiful if all people would pat others on the back after they accomplished something big, just as runners pat each others backs after a hard race. And wouldn’t it be amazing if we were cheered for to keep going when we felt like dying and giving up, just as being cheered for in a race? Oh how wonderful the world would be if we all acted like runners.
It began when I joined that cross country team in high school. I started feeling confident. I became addicted to pushing myself harder and harder, never giving up on anything. I became a leader, realizing that running isn’t the only thing I can push myself to do well in. On a 10 mile run, I left my worries about other people’s opinions all over the road. Throughout the years, I left the hurt, stereotypes, sadness, and self-pity all over the trail behind me, like dirt. Pretty soon, the path in front of me began to look like no one had ever run on it before, like it was made just for me to brake the tape at the finish line, even though I had never really won a race. I became addicted to finding myself in every step, every breath. Every 5K was a work of art, a journey where I came closer and closer to who I was meant to be. And to think… it all started when I rolled out of bed at 7AM to join that crazy cross country team.
I like running because it’s a challenge. If you run hard, there’s the pain——and you’ve got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is ‘Don’t overdo it’ and ‘Don’t push yourself.’ Well, I think that’s a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond.