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September 19, 2016

Cross-Country Holds a Place in My Heart

Kristin Metcalf

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Cross-Country racing is something that is very special to my heart. For a large part of my youth I was a competitive figure skater spending several hours a day training to perfect my jumps, spins and routines. After ten years of blood, sweat and tears I found a new love: running. During summer, fall and winter I focused on skating and then during spring I focused on racing track. It wasn’t until my senior year that I decided to run XC and that was that! I was done skating and running became my focus. I fell in love with everything that XC is about: the smell of fresh fallen crunchy leaves beneath my feet, the laughter of a group of girls on a long slow distance run, putting that special racing singlet on and stepping to the start line with your teammates beside you, finishing your race and then turning around to see the intense determination on your teammates’ faces mustering out every ounce of energy to get to the finish line of a hilly 5k course…

It’s the comradery that you feel between your teammates throughout the season; Spending months training together for the end goal of racing as close as you can to each other and as far up in the pack as possible to score the lowest amount of points as a team. Cross-country is not for the faint of heart, it’s for individuals who are committed, tough, strong willed and passionate beings. What you put into it is what you get out of it.

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It’s not only the leaves changing color and starting to drop off the trees that is reminding me of the beauty of this season…it’s the fact that after 7 years I am back to coaching high school cross-country again. The last season I coached was 2009 when JJ was a senior on my track team. She was on what I thought would be my last coaching season of 14 consecutive years on the high school level but what I realized over the last several years is that I miss coaching. And so as I start putting on my new Oiselle fall pieces I find that I feel this intense feeling of gratitude that comes from being a part of a community of runners who understand the beauty of this sport we all so love. If you haven’t had the chance to be a part of a cross-country team, try it! You won’t regret it. After all the hard work you will walk away learning so many wonderful things about your self and your teammates. If you don't have a chance to race with a XC team then go out and watch your local high school, college or club team in a race this fall. It will inspire you to do something new that challenges you and pushes your limits beyond what you ever imagined. 

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Somewhere along the way each of us found our path to the sport, and now it’s our turn to share that love back. We’re welcoming high schoolers into our running circles. High schoolers, for a limited time, use code TEAMUP for 15% off all styles in our Team Week category. Happy Fall! Get out there and Enjoy the Outdoors! 

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