Every year my High School 4 x 400 team meets up. Whether it is for family events or for a football game or a trip, When we get together the one common bond is running. Although I am the last of the relay who still consistently competes, it doesn’t really matter. It is that at one time we were a team looking to accomplish the same goals. Other than running, I have been in very few other environments, either professional or personal, where people were on the same page toward one common outcome. To me that is the beauty of sport and especially of running. Running, unlike other sports, is judged most purely by performance. The times and results speak for themselves. There is less blaming of outside factors like coaches not giving you playing time, or the failure of equipment. Running does not look at your size or shape, just your time or your result.
My adult years have been in some way a search for this sense of “team.” The sense of having a goal and working hard and smart to achieve it. This fall, I ventured into a new area that helped to reinvigorate this idea of team. I was an assistant cross country coach at a local high school. I had coached before, but it had been a while. While things had changed for sure, the main goal was the same. Our team had a very successful season but we fell slightly short of our goal to qualify for the state championships. When we did not qualify I felt an equal disappointment to what I had experienced as a runner myself. Running can have such highs and lows. Still, I was fulfilled that we had put in a great season of work. I renewed my passion for the sport that has given me so much and I learned quite a bit from the other coaches, athletes, and parents along the way.
I know that the members of our team will come back even stronger next season. I also hope that they can forge the kind of bonds and relationships that I have had the privilege to continue all these years later with my ex-teammates. When our 4 x 400 team meets up every year it seems that our jobs, our status, and even our recent history all take a back seat to our memories of each other on the track or on the course so many years ago. It all comes down to working together to reach a common goal, giving it all you’ve got, and being a good teammate. For me now, it is also about trying to be the best coach I can!
Thanks for a great season! Coach Rossen