Running. Most people consider it a hobby, or something that people without lives do. However, for me, and the other members of my cross country team, it's a way of life. Because of our trip to Alamosa, Colorado, my teammates have truly become my second family.
Almost 40 members of the team took a trip together to the KOA campgrounds in Alamosa, Colorado. Though we still had to go on runs, the activities we partook in really brought us together by providing us common experiences that we will carry inside of us, connecting us to each other. On the first day after we had arrived, a bunch of the guys and I played a game of pickup football. Cross country is usually viewed as an individual sport, so playing a team sport was a nice change of pace. I was slightly surprised that we were able to communicate well and the plays were executed effectively. I realize now that all those conversations on our long runs had discreetly made us a team.
Even more fun though, was sitting around the campfire at night, making S’mores and just talking to everyone about anything. We sat between all of our tents encircling the fire, and hung out until the late hours of the night learning things about each other’s lives that don’t usually come up at practice.
The next day we got to go to the Sand Dunes. It was a blast! Climbing the enormous, hot mountains of sand was a torturous test, but the view made it all worth it. Running down these steep and unstable sand cliffs was thrilling. Each time my friend Eric and I got finished with our friendly racing competition, we would turn around and watch all of the other people stumble and roll, struggling to keep their footing on the incline. It was invigorating, funny, and a little bit scary all at the same time. Immediately after, we tried to shake all the sand off ourselves, with no success.
The picturesque Zapata falls was an awesome place to share an experience with friends. The water running through the stream from the waterfall was incredibly cold. At first, the best idea seemed to be keeping your feet dry and warm. Then, someone got an irrational idea and as if overcome by a mob mentality, we decided to take a bath in the frigid falls. That moment of stupidity will provide me with a laughable, bonding memory of my teammates for many years.
Shivering with goose bumps, we caught lunch in the rather small town of Alamosa and then headed back to the campgrounds. We played some made up games in the small pool for hours, until, as if collectively minded, we all wanted to sleep. Sadly, we had to go back home after our run the next morning, putting an end to one of the most memorable adventures of my life. Feeling more connected to my teammates now, I will never forget the experiences I got to share with all my friends. I am excited for our trip next year!
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