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The Long White Line.

Posted on November 08 2008

What is the long white line? It is the start and finish of Cross Country. That solemn white chalk line, it takes minutes to make to but forever to forget. We take off from it on the first day of practice, those first painful miles after a summer with not enough running, the thrill of running again. All the expectations for the season, our easy, medium and hard goals. We take a couple strides to warm up, new shoes, new shorts, new friendships and when that guns go off, we start sprinting like crazy into the last season. The last season of Jeep!, sandwich, okaying, laughing, living, running together, pasta feeds, long hard runs and painful fast intervals, our last season of Woh Bundy, the last season with our family.

We start out fast then slow down to a nice pace. All those meets inbetween, the same races for 3 years. Our last Jakes’ and many more memories. Pepperdine without the XC boys, Crystal Springs Invite and Monterey Invite, getting closer together. Sharing our last long car rides together.  Those rides that are so nervous on the way there and so much fun on the way back.

The last mile. We have made it up Heartbreak Hill and we have 4 weeks of XC left. The last runs we wil do together. The last Turf N’ Surf, the last intervals, that last Blaney loop that we will never forget. The finish line is in sight. We give it all we’ve got, everything we have inside of us we leave it out on the dirt. That last final push. Telling ourselves “You can do it, dont give up, just push.” using all our energy to put one leg infront of the other. Over and over until we cross that line. It flashes infront of our eyes and soon we’re too tired to think about it. Just rip off the tag and find somewhere to lay down and die. We can still feel the pain, yet we can still feel the joy. We have made it.

Enough metaphors. It’s time for CCS. I don’t really know what to say, my plan was to not make another note about Lum and to be a bit more original, but I can’t help myself.

Lum you deserve that 7th spot. You work harder than anyone else. Even when all you want to do is stop and walk, you run on. You make Cross Country amazing and to be honest, you are the one who got me to love running. No one else, you did. When I got here as a freshmen I didn’t understand why XC meant so much to you until we started talking. All those jokes we made, the trips, the laughs. Everything inbetween the runs was what made LHS XC amazing. You taught me to never give up. Even if you didn’t make CCS this year, you were bigger than anyone that did make the team. You believed that we could make states when we talked about it. You worked hard all summer. You shared that tiny cramped tent with me in Tahoe and helped me when I was hurting. You never let me slack off. Whenever I felt like I needed to stop I just thought, what would Lum do? And pushed on, no matter the pain, no matter how tired i was, it was worth it.

What am I going to do next year? It’s so depressing to think about next year. You guys made Cross Country amazing, you made me who I am today. We are so different and I’m so glad that we are. No one understands but that’s because they have never run a mile in our shoes. They have never shared a car filled with jalapeno cheezits, they have never had to run up Priya’s until their legs feel like rubber, they’ve never had to run 9 miles just for a donut. But then again neither did we. We never had to do any of those things. We could always slow down and take it easy. We could always slack off and ditch practice. We could always not take practice easily and not race during the meets. But our hearts wouldn’t let us do that. They wouldn’t let us pull off to the side. They wouldn’t let us slow down when we were going too fast. Even if you didn’t make CCS Lum, you’ll always be a part of the Varsity Boys.

Our last season is almost over. It seems like yesterday that I ran that first Cuperinto Long Loop with you guys. Like yesterday that I sprayed perfume in Julia’s mouth, like yesterday that I fell in love with running.

The end is in sight, let’s give it all we’ve got because when we finish running all the pain will be gone. We’ll either make excuses, question if we ran hard enough, or lay at the finish line, drenched in sweat, knowing that we poured our heart out onto those trails. We prefer the last option.

Free Yourself.

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