LA River School

Why cross-country is the hardest sport around

Cross-country is a running sport, but to some people it is not a sport. They think just because you don’t get hit or shoot a ball, you aren’t an athlete. Then there are people like me, who think cross-country is the hardest sport by far. Why? It takes everything you have to run.

You may think I’m talking nonsense, but I wake up every other day at 5 a.m and run eight miles through my neighborhood. Some people might be afraid to wake up early and run by themselves.

Joseph Romero, an 11th grader at Los Angeles River High and a cross-country athlete said “I feel like cross-country or running in general is a sport because it’s a true test of a person’s power and two opponents running at their own will.”

Running takes time and patience to become the runner you want to be. You’re not going to wake up one day and just run a 15:20 on a race day. You need time to train, and the patience to actually run and listen to your coach. Running also makes you better mentally and physically. The practices are insane to some and easy to others. The practices consists of running six-to-eight miles a day with hills. The next day may be the same thing or something harder. That’s when dedication steps in, and you ask yourself should I run or do something else?

But when race day comes, you ask yourself in the second mile with your time of 13:46 “I should’ve run those eight miles on Tuesday.” The practices are a big part of what makes you better. It brings you pain but that’s the good thing because it makes you a better runner.

There are people who join cross-country and quit because they can’t handle the pain. Cross-country is also different than soccer and basketball because in soccer and basketball you have the whole or a large part of the school at the games, while in cross-country you don’t have anyone cheering you on. You may have one or three people cheering you on, but that’s your teammates toward the end. The only person that’s cheering you on the whole way is yourself.

Despite all of the hard practices, the constant cramps in the middle of the night, the lonely jogs in the morning and night, it all has a reward. The reward of being a good runner. The reward that you might get a scholarship from good schools. But that reward doesn’t magically appear, you have to earn it and by that is dedicating yourself to the sport, your teammates, the coach, and especially to yourself. This goes to all sports, but in cross it’s different; you have to practice, practice and practice to what time satisfies you. We all athletes tell ourselves after a race is over, “I could have run a better time.”

In conclusion, it all comes down to how bad you want it. To me, cross-country is the hardest sport that I truly have a lot of respect for.