Sense of Pride

So we had our second meet for cross country this passed wednesday and I was shocked by what I saw.  The girls JV race was first, and that is what all four of our girls run.  We have four girls, twenty one boys… good odds for the girls I guess.  Anyway, while watching the girls race I saw more than one girl from our team as well as from others stop in the middle of the race and start walking!!  Am I the only one that finds this appalling? This was the city/county meet!  We are not at a swimming pool.  Run, Don’t walk!!  Where is their sense of pride?

I don’t know about other people but for me walking in a timed race is not an option.  This is a race and it is only three miles!  I mean official practices have been ongoing for two weeks now.  What is the point of all that running in practice if you have nothing to show for it at the race?  I’m sorry if i sound harsh, but cross country runners should be able to run the entire three miles without stopping.  If they can’t they are obviously walking and slacking off in practice.  This definitely gives meaning to the words,”You play how you practice.”  Or in this case, “you walk how you don’t run….”  It made sense in my head.  I don’t know why anyone would want to run cross-country if they were just planning to walk during a meet.

The real shocker was not that girls were walking in the middle of the race, but that they would walk the finsihing stretch of the race! They were walking the last hundred!  The finish line is so close, it’s within sight, and not to mention where all the fans are sitting.  (and when I say fans I mean the 5 parents in the stands)  That is just embarrassing.  Are you that out of shape that you can’t run accross the finsih line?  Come on girls you are giving us a bad name.  I hate it when guys think they can say things like, “you run like a girl.”  But now I see why they feel they can say it.  Now, I know not all girls are this way.  There were girls who ran in this meet in under twenty minutes, which is faster than a lot of the guys times, but still I hardly ever see the guys walking in a race.  I guess you could say guys are naturally more prideful than us girls.  🙂

I blame it on a lot of things.  First of all a lot of kids today are out of shape and lazy and this includes the boys.  I can see a huge difference in the athletic ability of kids from when I was in high school to now, and high school was not that long ago for me.  They just don’t want to put the work in, and cross country requires a lot of hard work and I mean a lot.  Second, they don’t have a competitive drive.  I find comparing the boys races to the girls quit funny.  The boys have a lot more of a competitive edge.  There is always more than one elbow thrown in a boys long distance race.  I see boys cutting each other off, tripping one another,  and every once in a while a fight will break out in the middle of the course.  The girls, however, run a completely different kind of race.  They cheer for the people passing them up.   “Here, go ahead and pass me…no you pass me…no you!”  Now if someone passes you in a race, sure encourage them.  Thats great.  But are you going to let someone pass you with out a fight?  Not that kind of fight boys.  Obviously throwing elbows is not a good thing, but you should run to keep your standing.  You should run to win.  

Third, they have no sense of pride, no sense of accomplishment.  They don’t want it and I can see it in their eyes.  The race is to test your limits, to test your strength.  It’s supposed to be hard!  Don’t you want to show your team, your coach, your fans, and most importantly yourself what you can do?  Don’t you want to run a personal best?  If the answer is no, then I don’t know how you find motivation to run in the first place.  If the answer is yes, then it should be more than a walking effort.  Now I had a lot of the same characteristics of these girls in high school.  I didn’t like the hard work.  I was lazy, but I did have an extremely large competitive drive, still do.  When running a meet I wanted to pass people and I wanted to beat the one girl on Layton High’s team that was faster than me.  She’d beat me In every meet up to our last invite, which i finally passed her up.  That was my fastest race as well as my last.  After that I quit.  I honestly wish I was more like I am now, then.  But I can say, however, that I never walked in a race.  I had way too much pride for that.

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