Whether you’re starting out now or you were a couple years ago, for most of us the experience tends to be fairly similar. I joined cross-country the summer before my sophomore year in high school and has left me with many interesting experiences. If you’re a rookie runner, or you used to be, many of these incidents should seem very familiar.
You know you’re a Rookie Runner when…
1) The coach has to run with you and practically drag you.
Normally he’d be up there with the other more experienced runners but he has to lag behind to make sure you don’t get injured or left behind.
2) Or it’s just the opposite and the coach totally leaves you on your own.
3) You don’t mind getting left behind though.
You finally get to run at your own pace without feeling pressured by the other quicker runners around you or you just walk altogether and take your well-deserved break.
4) When you’re tired just by the thought of running.
You feel anxious just stretching.
5) Your running buddy (if you had one) doesn’t have to convince you to walk.
In fact you’re the one trying to convince them and it doesn’t take much.
6) When someone gives you directions for where you’re running to and it feels like they just told you.
“Follow the North star.”
7) Now you’re forced to try hard because you don’t want to get lost.
8) When you do get lost it turns into an adventure to find your way back.
This is only fun if you’re not all on your own.
9) You’re just so desperate you make up a lavish story of why it took you so long to get back.
And when you finally go to an actual XC meet…
10) The real competition is when you have to struggle for second to last place with the runner right beside you.
In the end, when everything’s all said and done you either find your way in running and acquire a new lifelong hobby, or you realize that it was never your thing in the first place.