Being on a team is an incredible privilege in college and life in general. More than anything, I learned that this year with my cross-country team. When you are part of a team of dedicated individuals, you are a part of something that is bigger than yourself. It can have a powerful and profound effect on your life.
Being on a team, especially a running team, involves extreme sacrifice. All of my friends went to college with excitement about being able to go out whenever they wanted to and do whatever they liked. I went to college knowing that this would not be a part of my life. Being on a team affects how you eat, sleep, think, and live in general. You constantly monitor yourself thinking, “Will eating this effect my race today?” or “Will staying up make me have a bad workout in the morning?”. These are things that don’t cross a normal college student’s mind. You monitor yourself to to get better, not just for yourself, but because you care for the team.
I came into my second year on the cross-country team a little apprehensive. The entire vibe had seemed to change. Our team was small, but that didn’t seem to matter. Every single person who showed up to pre-season truly wanted to be there. It wasn’t so much about the times you were hitting, it was about putting in the effort and running with your teammates. It’s easy to have disagreements within a team, but at the end of the day you all respect each other because you understand the hard work and dedication it takes to be on the team. We’ve all seen each other at our very worst on the team and at our very best. They understand you like no one else can. On a small team like Bendictine XC, every single person has a role. Nobody gets lost in the mix. There is no reason anyone should feel useless on the team.
Now that you’ve gotten a little inside on the BenU XC team, I hope it inspires you to find your own team. It doesn’t have to be a sports team, as long as you feel like you are a part of something. It will improve who you are as a person in ways you would never expect.