Cross Country Is… 2019 Edition

Cross country is your principal receiving a phone call from a concerned citizen who is distraught over seeing the boys run topless through the neighborhood.

Cross country is that one girl who trains with the boy’s team because she can.

Cross country is fretting all week about how you want your hair braided but dumping two cups of water over your head immediately following your race.

Cross country is discovering your rhythm matches far more people than you could have imagined.

Cross country is what you have done that will determine what you do.

Cross country is misunderstood by just about everyone who has never had the privilege of knowing the sport.

Cross country is the simplest of contests, pairing our seven kids’ hearts versus yours.

Cross country is a box of donuts on the passenger seat of your car providing fuel for your unquenchable fire.

Cross country is that chronic ache in your back that extends down into your glutes and culminates in a cramp in your calves and toes.

Cross country is walking into your first day at your new job and knowing nobody here is going to outwork you.

Cross country is the same pair of nylon running shorts washed hundreds of times that refuse to give in and quit.

Cross country is your dog not understanding that this is not a game, but rather race day.

Cross country is frozen fingers unable to manipulate the intricate workings of a maddening safety pin not once but four times on a blustery Saturday morning.

Cross country is a brand-new pair of spikes that manically temp you like a shortcut to wear them in this morning’s race.

Cross country is a team tent that smells of teenagers, lineament, sweat and fear.

Cross country is a world-wide sorority and fraternity that each of us who have ever toed the start box belongs to for life.

Cross country is learning that splits have nothing to do with bananas or gymnastics.

Cross country is my t-shirt from Colorado that I puked on while running down the mountain.

Cross country is the hardest 20-minute test you will take in high school.

Cross country is where confidence grows in those who dare to embrace the pain and defeat it.

Cross country is an old man bent like a question mark, standing near the finish chute remembering the agony, desperation, exhilaration, hopelessness and adrenaline all pumping through his veins when he too made that final surge to the tape so many decades ago.

Cross country is one hundred different races taking place within one race.  

Cross country is all about that one last race in November…and answering the question — will you be racing or watching?

Greg Hall @greghall24 [email protected]

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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3 Responses to Cross Country Is… 2019 Edition

  1. The Word says:

    It looks like Greg has re-discovered his site since KK got exiled from 810 for telling the truth. Too bad it was about cross country.

  2. Old Man Kissel says:

    RIP Greg Hall. Died not with a bang but a whimper.

    KK Scoops Greg Hall once again.

  3. Old Man Kissel says:

    An interesting tidbit about Hall from Herne.

    admin says:
    December 2, 2014 at 1:00 am
    From your lips to Greg’s ears, Late breaking…

    “Unfortunately, this isn’t Greg’s first rodeo. Sports waves was totally cool and he worked 24/7 on that baby for more than a year in the early days of the web.

    At this stage of the game, Greg has a life – kids, a wife, bills to pay and Cornhuskers, Chiefs and Royals to ogle.

    Maybe someone will make him an offer he can’t refuse…that’s actually a good possibility. Or maybe he’ll be like the vet who lost a leg but still wants to scratch it and un-retire.

    Greg’s kind of an angry guy and angry guys are volatile.

    And volatility breeds contempt which might make him miss being in the game.”

    Interesting that in 2014 Herne wrote this small insight on Hall. And I agree in his writing Hall always blamed everyone else for his failings. If it wasn’t Whitlock, it was KK. If it wasn’t KK, it was Herne. If it wasn’t Herne is was the Pitch. If it wasn’t the Pitch is was some sort of conspiracy to keep him down.

    It was never himself that was to blame. It was never his shortcomings as a human being that was the reason he had all these, “falling outs,” with everyone in the local media. It was always someone else.

    For me, Hall was largely a troll. He took people out of context. Told half-truths or plain lies in his columns. Most of which had little to no nuance.

    As Herne statted, Hall was an angry guy. He was angry that he never became more than a niche voice in the Kansas City sports media. He never became a go-to columnist at the Star like Whitlock. He never got a chance to prove himself in talk radio like KK. His websites or blog never really caught on like Tony’s Kansas City.

    And for that, he was an angry guy.

    810 scoops 610 once again.

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