Staffer reflects on team diversity
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Every morning I start the same routine: get up around 4:50, lazily get dressed and slump out the door to cross country practice, wondering what the morning’s workout consists of. While along the way, I listen to one of Coach Park’s classic pre- run speeches, then off to the running.
While running, I look around and see all kinds of people from every club and sport DHS offers, from varsity baseball and basketball players to cheerleaders and band members. Immediately I begin to wonder how so many different people relate to each other. Then it hits me, no matter what background people come from, we all feel like one big family selected by fate to work as one towards our personal records.
This team aspect of cross country always existed here at Decatur, because without it no one feels motivated enough to wake up that early and put themselves through some of the most enduring workouts ever. This separates us from other schools in the state and is the key to our successes over the years.
Within these team walls the key fundamental becomes engrained into each and every runner: pack running. Pack running relates to wolves on the hunt for food. Wolves refuse to hunt for food alone; they go in packs, just as championships are won by how close the top group of five runners are relative to each other and to the front runners of the race and not just on how one individual performs.
What makes the cross country team truly unique from other teams is the fact that every athlete possesses more self motivation than members from most other teams. Maybe because it takes a ton of self motivating just to wake up early five to six days out of the week and then takes that much more to endure the tough workouts.
As I kept running, I wondered again why I or anyone else continually puts themselves through such a demanding sport and again I was hit with the answer: addiction to success. Aside from all of the team motivational tools, cross country becomes an addiction knowing that each week, you as an individual, improve. While you are getting better you are also helping the team become a little bit better. Inside the mind of a runner no matter if he/she becomes the best runner in the state, nation or whatever, we never seem pleased with the end result no matter how fast the times on paper show. Each competition we constantly replay the races over in our heads searching for ways to improve. This brings us out of bed hoping that early every morning for practice so next time we get a better desired result.
So as I finish my run, I draw the conclusion on the whys of cross country; I realize that cross country is the most unique sport at DHS not because the team bond is any stronger than that of basketball or football but because of the power to bring kids who represent every aspect of DHS together to focus on one common goal. It is the most unique because each member has the power to motivate any one member, no matter how fast or slow that person may be. The ability for one sport to extend relationships past workouts and past high school into everyday life is truly amazing and is the reason it is the most unique sport at Decatur High School.