A cross country community

Long distance running team offers support and teaches perseverance

By Nika Bondar

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Long distance running, as a sport, offers more than just the well-known health benefits. Cross Country members share a unified feeling of support and develop individual perseverance through practice and competition, senior Nalin Krishnan said. 

“It’s super easy to say … ‘oh I’m not feeling like staying,’ and just give up,” Krishnan said, about overcoming discouragement. “That thought actually probably goes through my head about 50 percent of my races.”

Infographic by Nika Bondar

Krishnan added that, even though the feeling of failure is not uncommon, it is crucial to push through the mental barrier for the ultimate feeling of reward.

While some students are negatively biased against long distance running, or running in general, Krishnan said, it is important to consider the final outcome of the perhaps not-so-desirable training.

“Actually it’s the most rewarding when you have no energy left,” Krishnan said. 

Siddharth Shah, a junior and one of the nine team captains of cross country said he agrees that running long distances has taught him to persevere through challenges outside of the sport. Although, apart from the exercise itself, the most prominent aspect of the sport that Shah mentions is the “sense of community … a strong team bond that we share.”

Shah said cross country is supportive and welcoming to all, as the shared struggle of perseverance makes the whole team one big family.  

“For the girls … we all have a group chat and we recently had a team bonding event,” freshman Jessica Zhu said. “We all had a potluck, and afterwards we watched Netflix, so we’re all pretty close.”

Zhu also said she admires the upperclassmen on the team, for their dedication to the sport. 

“It makes me want to be like them,” Zhu said.

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