Swimmers are pretty proud of the hours we put in, training in a grueling sport. We endure our punishment knowing that our coaches push us through these tests to make us the best we can be, and we all take satisfaction in the idea that many athletes in other sports might actually drown if they tried to do our warm-up. I have respect for all sports... but sometimes I am just in awe, or maybe fear, of cross country runners.
Here is a story I shared with my high schoolers the other day. The runner in this article is obviously the toughest SOB on earth. He broke his leg during a race, knew he had broken it, and finished to become an All-American in Division II. He has been through a year and a half of rehab and recovery to come back and compete for his senior year. The best part about the article was this quote:
“It was miserable,” Dixon said. “I don’t know how I did it. But, at Missouri Southern, we don’t quit. I don’t think there are any of my teammates who would have quit. ... It was just putting one foot in front of the other.”
I remember feeling that way about my team in college. I felt like we would have pushed through anything to bring the big meet home for Coach Steck. It is an amazing feeling, but I really don't know if any of us would have been able to finish the mile with a broken leg, no matter how much we loved each other.
Apparently, the guys on Coach Rutledge's team will tear off their skinny little broken leg and beat you with it while they are hopping at full speed, racing you on the other one. Tough as nails. I am in awe.
By the way... Missouri Southern did go on to win the MIAA championship this year. Men and Women. Go Lions!