Heart And Soul | Teen Ink

Heart And Soul MAG

By Anonymous

   Sweat streaming down faces filled with expressions of fatigue and pain, loud gasps for air, and tight aching muscles as heavy as lead are all parts of a runner's description - from the spectator's point of view. But if they looked closer, they would see the glimmer of determination and pride in the eyes of every cross-country runner.

Darting in and out of trails, across fields, and up large hills in all types of weather, whether hot sun or cold rain, are all the aspects that make the sport so physically and mentally challenging. Hard work and constant effort are both necessary to improve during the

two-month season, and if each is put into every practice, results will be seen slowly, but surely.

Endurance and the ability to place one foot in front of the other quickly can carry a person through a grueling two to three mile run. That may not sound very far compared to the New York Marathon, but it is certainly difficult and can prove to be a challenge for even the best of runners. The uneven terrain switches from rocky dirt trails to grassy fields to hard cement roads that combine to create a cross-country course that can be used for running by both boys and girls in competitions called meets that are usually held at various schools weekly.

Great beauty can be seen in this sport. When the crisp, autumn weather arrives and leaves change, the scenery is breathtaking and the running conditions are perfect. Besides the obvious beauty, there exists a deeper one seen in any runner. At a large invitational or a small school meet, there is a bond between all runners that often leads to lifelong friendships. Cross country teaches something that can be carried in everyday life, including never giving up. l

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