Running Across Wolf Country

Sriya Reddy, Staff Writer

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Kai Zen, the motto of the boy’s cross country team, is Japanese for “continuous improvement.” This constant desire for improvement is what essentially embodies cross country team members. The purpose of each vigorous early morning run is to help members develop and improve.

“You’re there to reach goals and keep improving yourself, on the track and off of it,” junior Silvia Navarro-Valdez said.

Cross country is an athletic activity where individuals run long distance, such as a three mile or 5K race on various terrain including grass, hills or gravel road. It is a test of physical and mental ability.

“The hardest part of cross country is overcoming the mental barriers, and understanding how to overcome adversity,” boy’s cross country coach Andy Reinberg said.

Members of cross country believe that an extreme amount of mental strength is needed to participate. The hardest part is the necessary motivation to persevere despite what the runners’ bodies are telling them.

“Nobody likes to run,” Brown said, “not even me.” “As I am going, everything in my head is telling me to stop, but I have to push through that because the guy who wins the race is not necessarily the guy who is more fit but the guy who pushes harder and gets past his head.”

The teammates tend to motivate each other to be the best that they can be. According to cross country athletes, the team is more like a family than anything else. The members keep each other in check and these bonds are considered the most important part of the team. When asked why they kept with this sport, “my teammates” was a resounding answer.

“My teammates have kept me running all these years,” junior Lauren Gaggini said. “They’re always there for you and they make you work harder.”

Cross country has the ability to teach essential life skills. Early mornings and exact timings teach discipline and punctuality. The teamwork aspect teaches the importance of cooperation and simply being a friend. Students say that everything that encompasses cross country is, in some way, beneficial to everyday life.

“It teaches you life skills that school does not teach you and your parents cannot teach you, like dedication and work ethic,” Navarro-Valdez said. “I’ve never worked as hard as I do for cross country.”

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