I have a very faded memory of buying my first pair of running shorts with my mom this year. It would’ve been 1993. I think we went to Big 5 in Roseville (Calif.), and I’m pretty sure I complained a lot about having to wear these skimpy things. (Yet, I was perfectly fine hanging out in my bathing suit at a swim meet all day. Go figure.)
I don’t recall why I decided to join the cross country team that year. I think someone told me I should check it out because I was running the mile on the track team and losing. I was not a sprinter and the mile in track is a sprint race. But I could play 90 minutes of physical soccer and not be tired. And I was a decent swimmer.
Someone probably just threw it out there like it was nothing and I grasped onto it thinking it would be my new favorite sport, even though nothing could overtake soccer. I love playing that game. Especially in the mud.
But I felt special being part of the cross country team. It was so extreme! Non-running kids in school were like, “You ran THREE miles? That’s crazy!”