Cross country for middle schoolers seems to be a great way to get kids running and a great way to get many of them to actually enjoy it. In the schools in our area, a huge number of kids are on the cross country teams. Meets are huge events. And most of these kids are actually having fun (before, after and even during the events).
It was easy to pick out which kids have the killer finish instinct, which ones can pace, and which ones are just hanging on to the coattails of the one in front of them. Since this was the first race of the season many kids were making mistakes. But that is how we all learn. At the next race next week they will all run smarter.
But sadly there are fewer kids out there in the older grades as their priorities change or as they get discouraged with their progress.
So I think we need to continue to encourage these youngsters to stretch themselves to be the best they can be. When they get discouraged, we need to help them push on so they don’t quit prematurely. There is so much potential out there.
And they need heros and role models to look up to. That’s us, fellow experienced runners. We are the heros and role models whether we accept the challenge or not, whether we feel we are worthy or not. They are looking to us for inspiration.
So let’s keep running, and let’s keep inspiring those around us to greatness.