This morning, I went out for a lovely 6 mile run. I ran on the Univ of CO XC course, since it’s only a half mile from our apartment. I run there a lot. And I think about how fun it must be for those athletes, to still be in their collegiate XC racing days. I loved my college XC racing days. I went to a D3 school in rural Ohio called the College of Wooster. It changed my life in such a positive way.
I loved my coach. Coach Rice. He was the ‘get it done, no whiners’ type. Always full of pearls of wisdom and random stories that continue to make me laugh to this day. He never, ever showed emotion. No hugs, no high fives. But when he knew you had the race of your life, he’d shake your hand. He rarely even gave those out, so if/when he did, everyone knew about it and congratulated you on the hand shake. It was a big deal. I was lucky to get two of those bad boys in all 4 years of my college racing career.
I loved my teammates. We genuinely cared about each other and racing as hard as we could to make our team a better team. I miss the nervous pre race jitters we all felt, but no one talked about during our warm ups.
I loved the group huddles and pre race pep talks.
I loved the chaos of the starting line. The smoke cloud following the bang of the gun. The spikes and elbows and pushing and shoving. The racing heart beat, and the ability to pick out coach’s voice amongst the screaming.
I loved sprinting down the shoot, lined with flags and sometimes hundreds of spectators/teammates/family/coaches. The madness. The sound. The feeling.
I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since my last XC season. Oof. Where does the time go?
It’s okay :) I think I still have the racing spirit in me (even though I’m just now dusting it off the shelf). And I can’t wait to use it in 15 days.
Did you compete in any sport in college? What was your favorite part of being on a team?