Dear Running by Corey Culbertson ~
You're always there in times of need.
Not too many years ago (well, at least it feels not too long ago) I used to think you were a joke. Run for a sport? Around a track? On grass and through the woods? No thanks. A ball is required to be a sport, right? Oh how you changed my mind and life, thankfully.
These thoughts were from my high school self. Fortunately, I've had great coaches and family in my life that convinced me to give this running as a sport thing a try. Ever since I got a taste of this sport, my life changed. At first, it was all about winning and success but the more years I spent with you, the more I learned who you really are. You make people happy, sad, excited, frustrated, hopeful and build confidence. You're a roller coaster of emotions, but you are always worth the price of admissions.
A few years back I made the transition from post collegiate athlete to coach. During my time as a coach, my love for you has grown. Being able to give back to the sport that has given me so much is rewarding. There isn't much better than seeing a young athlete you coach achieve something they worked so hard for. On the flip side, there isn't much worse than seeing that same athlete have their season ripped away from something out of their control.
On April 20th, our governor announced that school buildings will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year ultimately ending the Spring 2020 sports season. To process this, I did the only thing I know to do. I drove to my favorite running spot and ran, far. During this run, I thought about all the athletes who were ready for this spring track season. Not just the athletes I coach, but any athlete who put the work in to be successful.
To these athletes, know that us coaches are thinking of you. We know you wanted it, we see the work you put in and we are here for you. My advice to you is to keep the fire burning. Focus on what you can do to be ready for when you get the chance to race again because you'll be back to chasing your dreams soon. When that time comes, boy is it going to be exciting!
One of my former coaches once told me that you're not a true runner until this sport has broken your heart a few times. This is definitely one of those times. The beauty of this sport is that you get to decide when your running career is over. Not a pandemic. Not the end of your high school or collegiate senior season. Your time as a runner is finished when you want it to be. This is yet another reason our sport is the best. I cannot wait for the next season!
Keep grinding. We'll see you soon.
Beaver Eastern Head Cross Country Coach