Cross Country is like Life

February 28, 2014

The gun goes off and everything changes… the world changes… and nothing else really matters.” - Patti Sue Plummer

 “Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.” -Steve Prefontaine

“It is often said that all runners are trying to run away from something. I’m running away from that little voice in my head that is telling me to slow down and stop”-Nate Repetz

 Hey PA 4-H! I hope everyone is surviving this lovely snow filled winter. I was happy last week when we got a break in the cold and it felt like spring for a brief few days. That got me thinking about running.This is natural because I have been a runner ever since I can remember. When I was a toddler, my mom would take me to the football field by my house and watch as I ran from one end to another, over and over again. I spent recess in elementary school running around the entire time (I was full time cop while my friend Colin was full time robber). I started running track in 4th grade, and cross country in 7th. In high school I was a 2-time district medalist and state qualifier in cross country, and I currently run cross country at Penn State Altoona. For me, running is not something I do, it is a part of who I am.

Few understand what motivates someone to put their body though everything that a cross country race entails, and to be honest I don’t fully understand it myself. I mean, I willingly pushed my body to such a limit that I have almost passed out after races. How can that be fun?? I enjoy racing because there is no greater test of human endurance and mental toughness then running 5 miles at full speed while every muscle in your body is begging you to stop. When that gun goes off, you are essentially alone. It is your strategy verses the strategy of the guys around you. It is the adrenaline rush of knowing that you will be trampled if you fall. It is ignoring the lactic acid in your legs and sprinting past your competitors at that last half mile. At the end of a race, the winner isn’t always the strongest runner, it is the one who refuses to loose. The pain is refreshing. When you run a race, you find out what you are made of.One of my favorite movies is a cross country documentary called The Long Green Line, and in it there is one quote that sticks out: “Cross Country is like life”. Many of the lessons I’ve learned in cross country can be directly related to life, and this movie has a wonderful way of summing it all up. Here is the link to a preview of Long Green Line:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GB3LYcfg9I. I encourage you to watch it, it may be the most inspiring 6 minutes you have all day.A throwback to my Sr, year of high schoolNow that the weather is warming up, I can’t wait to toe the starting line in August. It will be my last season as a scholastic cross country runner, I have the potential to do great things, and I do not intend to waste the opportunity. I know that when I cross my last finish line in November, I will be able to take everything I’ve learned and carry it through life. I won’t stop running, but the lessons I learned competing though school will always hang with me. Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a long cross country race, and I can’t wait to see where this race will take me.

Nathan Repetz2013/2014 PA 4-H State CouncilPresident