“You just ran 4:58!” — Coach Penell
Running, more specifically distance running, has always been the sport that I have done. The first time I was submerged into the fantastic world of running was in my 8th grade year. Track tryouts had come and I tried out for sprints. I was above average and I made the sprinting team, but as events followed I did not hear the sprint coaches call my name when the sprinters and distance runners were being separated. As fate would have it, I was introduced to distance running. Right away it was apparent that I was good at it. I would pull away from fellow runners during workouts. I would run faster in races. My distance running career had started.
In my freshman year, I was planning on trying out for distance track in the spring, so I was in the dreaded hell of P.E. During our mile and half-miles, the teachers saw the potential in me and urged me strongly to join the Cross Country team. I was hesitant, having heard about their grueling workouts and mileage, but in the in I joined.
Cross Country is possibly the best thing that has ever happened to me. The team experience, something so vital in a teenager (especially in high school) and the awesome people ready to accept me was close to overwhelming (only later did I find out that Cross Country was the most eccentric group of people at school). I experienced team work, incredible pain, and gargantuan amounts of satisfaction when I succeeded in a race. It was the greatest fun I ever had and only now am I appreciating what the team did for me. I believe that working with people is a great way to immerse yourself into a real life situation. Everyone throughout their lives should be participating in a team activity that promotes a healthier life style.
Working in a team has also been scientifically proven to fight clinical depression while at the same time improving self-esteem, social skills, and behavior. So go out their and join a team, club, gang (no, don’t do that) and enjoy this awesome life.