The Mental and Physical Hardships of Cross Country


Kristen Koch

BCHS Male Cross Country Team

Taylor Koch, Editor

The mental and physical conditions cross country runners go through can be somewhat unimaginable to some people. Whether running to break your personal record, or working towards a goal, training yourself to run long-distance is a hard thing to do. Talking to a few runners on the Bourbon County team, they describe how hard they had to work to get where they are now. Many said they started off running in elementary school, and over the years worked themselves up to varsity as early as eighth grade. 

One of the most common questions they are asked is why they participate in the sport. Why put yourself through the torture of running for hours at a time, training your body days in a row, all just to potenitally win a medal. “It’s an escape”, says Jack Koch, a runner for the BCMS team, and sometimes BCHS. “I’m stuck in my head while I’m racing. It gives me the chance to think about life, think about why I really am running.” The sport is solely based on your own accomplishments, but at the same time you’re trying to help your team win. You run by yourself, which means you have to push yourself- there’s no one else to make you go faster. 

Your mentality is very important while competing. Not having a good mindset, or refusing to believe in yourself could affect your racing, and your time. They teach you that while running, think “happy thoughts”, don’t come up with negative ones. It’s hard not to do though; being exhausted, thinking you’re about to drop, how could you keep up the happy thoughts? Runners believe cross country improves their minds, because of how much time they have to learn about themselves. 

Speaking to another side of runners, the “nerdy”, introverted students also enjoy the sport. They use it as an escape too. Though they might not enjoy talking as much, or having to depend on other people to help them win, running gives them a sport to play, and one they actually enjoy. Another benefit they stated was how much confidence cross country gave them. They’re learning to push themselves past the limit, and working harder than ever both in school and on the field. “Cross country is a family, I know I can depend on them for anything, and I’ve made a lot of friends.”, says another runner. 

Even though cross country is one of the hardest sports (according to ) people join for the many plus-side benefits. It gives you confidence, strength, an escape from reality, and gives you friends you didn’t know you needed.