Molly Born is a senior for Shawnee Mission Northwest, Kansas. Entering the cross country season, she had the sixth-fastest time in the nation, which came last year at the NXN Heartland Region, a race she won. She was ranked No. 12 in MileSplit USA's preseason Flo50 girls poll. Unfortunately, Born suffered an injury during her spring track season, and it kept her out of preseason training. She has agreed to write a weekly blog on her injury, recovery, and progress throughout the season.
I love cross country. I especially love cross country meets. The atmosphere is incredible, with the colorful tents, teams and fans in their spirit wear, to teams running around doing their warm ups. When I was injury-free, I thought there was nothing more fun than going to a cross country meet that in which you did NOT have to run. I just loved running around and cheering everyone on without the nerves of an impending race.
But now I've come to find that racing with your team is the best part of any meet. There is something about that runner's high, and the feeling of accomplishment after a good race. Even after bad races, you walk away with extra fuel for your fire. Although I can't race now, I still love watching and cheering, which is exactly what I plan to do until I can race again. Meets are more fun to watch when you know someone in them, but the most fun comes when you know how hard they worked to get to that point.
This past weekend, I got the chance to watch my brother participate and kill it in his middle school cross country meet at the Olathe Twilight Cross Country Classic (which was super cool, by the way). My brother, Henry Born (I call him Henny B), is my inspiration. Watching him race reminded me of my middle school days where half a Gatorade and a granola bar was my pre-race meal -- by pre-race, I mean 15 minutes before the start of the race.
When expectations were low and the stakes weren't so high, I had a blast. My uber-competitive self found an outlet and stuck with it. I see a lot of myself in Henry. And being injured all summer, I did a lot of following my brother around in a golf cart while he ran.
I'd shout at him to run faster and play some good jams for him. I tell everyone I'm his "coach." I love seeing all that summer work pay off and I love seeing Henry have some success. Even if running is not for him, I know he will be successful at whatever he chooses to do because he is hard-working and passionate.
I love sharing with him all I know about running and bonding over shared cross country experiences. Even though I would love to be racing, watching and cheering on others as they race is definitely the next best thing. All the energy I used racing can now be used cheering on my team as a cross country fan.