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]
Tony’s Kansas City
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