As I was cutting my grass the other day, my mind started bouncing around. (I know, I know. What's new, right?) As my brain flipped between marathon training and cross country camp, Johnny Cash's “Ring of Fire” started blaring through my Yurbuds (so I guess you could say this week's article is brought to you by Pandora). My thoughts immediately crystallized on the one undeniable message I wanted to spread to high school athletes everywhere: Get in the ring. If you want to run cross country, step up and go for it. You are worth more than a halfhearted effort. Too often, we dip a toe in the waters instead of committing to the dive. We pile up excuses and reasons why we can't or won't commit ourselves to giving it our all. I can tell you that one of the biggest regrets I hear from adults I coach is that they didn't really pursue running until they were older.
Kids, now is the time to chase your dreams and lay the foundation for a great season. Get in the ring and give it your all.
Running is a lot like school. You have to put in the work ahead of time to get the results you want later (graduate, get good grades, everything). If you slack off early in a semester, it’s that much tougher later to get the grades you want. But if you stay on top of things all semester long, the end is much easier and less stressful.
It may be hard to focus on cross country right now. But taking action now will better prepare you for the season ahead. In other words, think cross country now, and you’ll be ahead of the pack later (when everyone cares about how well they train and race). The end of the season may seem a long way away, but the opportunity to PR, to make varsity, to go to state is within your grasp at this moment. All you have to do is begin taking the necessary steps to achieve your goals.
Young athletes often don't realize their worth to their teams. Don't sell yourself short. Cross country is great because of the team atmosphere. You are a bigger piece of the puzzle than you give yourself credit for. Your actions can help make your team great. The team needs you and your talents (both in running and in your personality) to be a success. Now is the time to acquire the education and training to be that piece your team needs.
Lay the foundation for a special season by learning from some of the best this summer. The FLEET FEET/Runnababez Cross Country camp is designed to help you chase your dreams this season. The camp features All-American and Olympic Trials athletes and national champion coaches, along with kinesiologists and other performance professionals. This is a special opportunity to strive for excellence.
Kids, get in the ring!
Good Luck and Happy Racing!
Tim Cary is FLEET FEET's Assistant Training Manager, coach of the FLEET FEET-sponsored Runnababez Elite team, and manager of the FLEET FEET Racing Team. Over his 20 years of coaching, Tim has coached athletes to three national team championships, five national individual championships, two national records, and numerous All-American and All-State honors. Click here to receive Tim's weekly article via email.