A CYNIC'S CHALLENGE, by Toni Reavis, note by Larry Eder

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A nice commentary on the two final cross country racing opportunities for high school athletes that happen Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. The NXN and FootLocker Cross Country give the best athletes in the country two choices on how to end their seasons. And for Toni Reavis, and also for this writer, that is good....

NXN2011TH182_full.jpg
Nike NXN, 2011, photos courtesy of Nike PR

A CYNIC'S CHALLENGE

by Toni Reavis

Coming Together: High School XC

In light of the recent national election there remains much to be cynical about in the American redoubt.  While many on the Left feel rejuvenated, even mandated by President Obama's re-election, a near equal number on the Right feel at least partially vindicated by the return of the House of Representatives to a Republican majority.  The nascent secessionist movement underscores the deep divide in the national mood.  The early eyeing of the 2016 campaign, even before the sulfurous fumes of 2012 have fully dissipated, betrays the uneasy acceptance of the results of November 6th, and next month's fiscal cliff dwelling debate and the specter of an onerous Congressional sequestration - along with February's debt-ceiling rise - promises to once again cleave the body politic into a rancorous opposition.

What does this have to do with running?  Not much, really, unless you seek an antidote to this growing cynicism.

All you have to do is peruse your Facebook friends to realize that runners tilt easily to both political poles.  And yet, running and racing themselves transcend political influence from either side. Dedication, effort, and suffering toward the furtherance of speed a foot strips bare the facades of politic affiliation as they shore up the foundations of pulse and sinew serviced in the fight against that most measured and implacable foe - gravity.

As I've always said, if you get bored with life, get a little intense.  The same can be said when cynicism creeps ahead. You don't have to sit still and stew in it.  Instead, try attending a high school cross country meet.

You can take the bitterest man you can find to this weekend's Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon, or to the following weekend's Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego, plop him amongst the young strivers gunning for cross country glory, and even the most hardened will emerge with a renewed sense hope.  Read more of this post

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