Cross Country & Me
Part of my college experience thus far at St. Norbert College has included being a member of the women’s Cross-Country team. Being a collegiate student-athlete can be challenging at times: 6am practices before 8:20 classes, three hour long off-campus afternoon workouts, all-day or out-of-state meets every other weekend. From the surface, it may seem to add stress and complication while studying for exams and trying to earn a college degree, but I believe that competing and training for a sport actually makes being a good student easier. By attending daily scheduled practices, I am almost forced to take mandatory study breaks so that I don’t spend my whole day doing homework and potentially burning out. It also allows me to stay physically active in college, which helps me focus better and be more productive while studying, and encourages me to make healthy decisions at mealtime. Handling the many hours of practice per week along with the heavy load of homework at college also teaches me essential time management skills that will prove important throughout the rest of my life.
Cross-Country also makes my college experience more enjoyable. At practices, we don’t only practice running or weightlifting, we also spend the time talking, interacting, and joking with one another. The reason why we show up to a 6am practice 10 minutes, or sometimes even 15 minutes, beforehand is not only because we want to be timely, but because we genuinely look forward to seeing each other every day. One team ritual that we have is that all of the girls on the team have matching hair ribbons that we wear for every meet. At our home meet, we all had smiley faces drawn on the backs of our calves with a Sharpie marker for the race. An especially fun team activity is that every girl on the team has a different member of the team as a “secret sister” who buys gifts or makes a card for her teammate and puts it in her locker the day before a meet. We even went bowling together at the Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley on a free Saturday as a fun team bonding activity.
On Saturday, November 2, we competed at Knox College in Illinois at the Midwest Conference Cross Country Championships. The goal for both the women’s and men’s teams all season long has been to win the Conference Title, making this the most important, and for some the last, meet of the season.