What Running Cross Country Did to my Body

As a former cross-country runner, I can say from experience that running has both its advantages and disadvantages. I ran cross country for two years in high school and one year in college. Within those three years, I learned a lot about my body. It’s important to note that cross country can help and hinder the body. But, that’s with anything. However, every cross-country runner has their own story, and this is mine.

Overall, I enjoyed running. Being able to brag to my couch potato friends that I ran eight miles at an eight-minute pace without any breaks made me feel good. I remember when I ran my first half-marathon two years ago. I ran 13.1 miles without stopping and I still brag about it until this day. Running helped me to build self-esteem and tenacity both mentally and physically. It was all about pushing past my limits because that’s the only way to get better. Stepping out of your comfort zone is what life is all about. Consequently, everything that I learned from running I was able to apply to my own life.

Cross country helped me with my overall fitness. Of course, I burned a lot of calories while running and my calves always looked their best. And, because running helps with your heart and stamina, I could do activities other than running for longer periods of time. I remember when I was a runner in college, I lived on the top floor of my dorm building and would often take the stairs instead of the elevator because I knew I wouldn’t get tired. Sometimes I was even crazy enough to actually run up the stairs.

On the other hand, there were disadvantages to cross country running, like body aches and pains. With any physical activity, you’re going to be sore, but there’s a difference between soreness and pain. I personally never had a major injury but, during my time as a runner, I did have knee pain. Because of the amount of mileage ran, runners are more prone to have knee pain and overuse injuries. Over time, this can be very damaging to the knees and the body in general. So I’ll forever cherish the memories I had as a cross country runner, and eventually one day I’ll get back into running long distance again, but for now, I’m going to let my knees rest.