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...well, because...

    Okay, so of course my answer is "Because Cross Country is good for the mind and body and will make you 1,000,000% happier in life and will fix all your problems." Not exactly. Why WOULDN'T a Freshman try Cross Country? Not popular enough? Would you rather play another sport? Can I think of a good reason why you SHOULD do Cross Country as your fall sport?

    I went around asking some Freshman soccer players if they would consider Cross Country. I got the general response, "No. I don't like it. All you do is run. Run run run. I don't like running." Okay, so, there is some truth to that. It IS called Cross Country for a reason, right?

    I'm getting the idea that you're getting bored. Well, just hear me out (at least little longer).

    There is the idea CC is not a team sport. There isn't anything farther from the truth than that statement. The CC team is like a family. Most teams at High Schools just chill at the school and every once in a while get the oppurtunity to get on a bus and go somewhere like a meet. The CC team of Southwest High School goes all over the place. We go to various parks all the time, the state fair, the wave pool, we even go up to a meet in Duluth and get to ride in a fancy bus (with TV's... whoo hoo!). After the race we go to a restaurante and get an all-you-can-eat pizza dinner... We rent out an entire wing in a hotel and spend the night there, relaxing and perhaps going for a swim in the pool. It's a blast, it really is. For most people that's the high point of the season, and believe me, there are many high points. Like going camping and playing capture the flag in the night at the camp site. Plus, with awesome team leadership from Captains Dan Dickinson, Koby Hagen, Elisa Berry, and so on, you're always going to feel welcome. The captains are also backed up by some incredible people. You're guaranteed to fit in.

  Don't love running that much? Don't worry, you'll always be allowed to work at your own pace in finding a love for the sport. In the mean time, have fun working out. And by the way, did I mention that our team occasionally plays such sports as Water Polo, Ultimate, Basketball, and more? Do you like swimming? We get access to the pool in the morning. Go have a swim, or go aqua jogging.

    Do you get injured easily? I suppose it's a good thing that we have a pool and aerobics room. The aerobics room has a bike, stairmasters,  an elliptical machine, a rowing machine, and a nice big ice tub if you get a little warm. Or lift some weights in the weight room. You can work your way out of just about any injury... And have fun doing it, getting a variety of choices on what to do.

    How can running every day be fun??? First of all, you don't have to run every day. Plus, when people think of "CC practice," they think of going out every day and running maybe five miles. That's not the case. You'll get a chance to see what running's all about. Long runs, interval runs, threshold runs, easy runs, fartleks, and more. Around the city? Sometimes, but chances are you'll be running is some beautiful parks like Hyland, up and down hills, through woods, bonding with your friends. It's a whole new experience. Ever got a "runner's high?" Once you get into your rythme after you've run for a while, you'll feel free and want to go faster and not want it to ever end. Pretty crazy, huh? I'm not lying. You'll have to do it to believe it.

    Okay, so you do another sport and don't want CC interfering? Well, first of all, it's POSSIBLE to do 2 fall sports. So branch out, try something new. I can guarantee if you just try it, by the end of the season you'll be sad it's over and will be anxious for next year. If you do a sport in another season and have no fall sport, cross country can be a great way to get in shape for just about any sport you can think of. We've had swimmers, skiiers, sprinters, bikers, volleyball players, divers, basketball players, and more, run cross country.

    Plus, if you already like running and racing, you'll love this sport right away. You'll have plenty of chances to jump in and test your mental strength. There are plenty of races for you to participate in. There's always that certain joy when you run a best time, or out kick some poor soul in the last 200 meters of the race. If you're very afraid of racing, don't worry about it. Work at your own pace. No one will force you to race if you don't want to.

    Did I mention our awesome coaches? We have an incredible head coach, Ben Zhao, who runs the program which is better than many college programs. If you follow the workouts through out the season, chances are you'll run a lot faster at the end than you ever have before. It's a thrill to ride a physical peak like that. Zhao also has high, or should I say, higher priorities in how you're doing in your life. You can talk to him about anything you want, and he will listen and give feedback. Zhao is backed up by some great coahces. Mike Anderson, who will always give you a motivational speech or make you laugh. He gives excellent racing advice as well. Chuck Craycraft, who will eventually take over the program, who can tell you what you need to do about anything. Injuries, training, or something else in your life. Coach Reva Fred, who was once a marathoner herself, who is always fun to be around.

    Cross Country is for everybody, regardless of how fast you are. So, I call to all Freshman at SW and anyone else who hasn't done CC yet, come join the Cross Country team! You could make the difference. How do you think our team keeps itself supported? Everyone on the team was a rookie at one point, and the more rookies we have the more people we have, and will have in the future. That's how our team gets good at racing, at having good leaders, and at having fun.

    Come run with us. You won't regrete it. It's a blast.

The Cross Country Team of Southwest High School

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