Miles in Our Shoes: A day in the life of a cross country team

By Alex Bonus |

Most people don’t understand running. They ask — how do you enjoy this? How do you do that every day? Why are you so happy about it? Why do you take time out of your day, from your work, and put on a crappy pair of shoes to run miles upon miles upon miles?

Sometimes we think we’re crazy too.

We are.

But there’s something to love about this. Otherwise we wouldn’t gather like this. So ritually. For something so painful and something so misunderstood.

From afar we may look crazy. And people might stop to wonder what we’re doing. But something happens when we’re together. And when we start our runs the city becomes our playground.

Though we tread the same beaten paths as everyone else, we always set our sights on something less travelled. And just off those main roads — off those worn streets and tired sidewalks — there exists an entire world of adventure. Opportunities you’d never see unless you took the time to look.

Everyday objects give way to new experiences, and we remember what it means to be a kid. Bathroom breaks are times for pranks, and our run turns into chase.

Outsiders don’t understand. They watch us as we pass by, laughing and smiling, enjoying what others call a punishment.

But we do it because we know that off that beaten path, adventures await.

But sometimes fun can turn to danger. And even a little trespassing—even if it seems a little harmless–can go very wrong. But a suddenly broken bridge and a near death experience won’t stop us. We see the adventure and take on life’s challenge.

We’re still thankful for solid ground, and to have our lives in tact, but adventure doesn’t wait and the road less travelled has endless games to offer.

Finding life’s little treasures isn’t so hard. You just have to pay attention. Anything you find can be turned into a game.

But those paths we take that few ever find always bring us back to civilization, and those moments where we’re kids again quickly come to an end.

But keep your eyes open. The next adventure is just around the corner.

Other people find us here. Sometimes, but not often. They’re lucky enough to have found these things, but they don’t enjoy it like we do. Don’t get us wrong—we do take breaks, especially when nature’s beauty smacks us in the face. But even then we find a way to have some fun.

What’s that? Someone isn’t happen about our games. It doesn’t matter. Adventure lies elsewhere today.

And again that road less travelled comes to a halt by the brunt of civilization.

We can work with that. More trespassing is always fun. And even though the beauty of nature always outshines man’s achievements, sometimes you just need to take a break and enjoy the artificial beauty too.

But not for long. Time is short. Of course there comes that point on every run where the beaten path is unavoidable, when our tired feet meet those tired sidewalks, and man’s obstacles get in our way. But that’s the time to enjoy each other. To enjoy the sites. To enjoy our friends in the same predicament.

We don’t like to waste a moment though. Most people don’t understand why we’re always in a hurry. But we leave them behind because we know—the next adventure is ahead.

Sometimes that doesn’t mean much. A lot of times it just means enjoying life’s little surprises. But the real enjoyment comes when our runs come to an end. When the incessant rotation of our mile-beaten legs comes to a stop. When we refuel and nurse pains and rest our tired bodies.

We know we still look weird. And do weird things. And all-around just seem crazy. But when you look at us from afar, asking us why we do what we do. We look back at you and ask—what did you do for the last 60 minutes?

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