Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Spring Classics

It is during this time of the year, when you can find me glued to the television watching the renowned cycling Spring Classics, that I wish my sport offered the same grueling misery that only sheer toughness and guts can tame.  Sure, running has its cross country courses, its brutal hills, nagging miles, wind and weather.  But do we have anything that compares to the wretchedness that is Paris-Roubaix?  While the World Cross Country Championships add logs throughout the course to heighten the difficulty, do logs compare to miles of cobblestones?  Do manicured courses under the bright sun garnish the same mental and physical strength to conquer as the wind and rain of the Belgium spring?  Watching the riders suffer throughout the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix something inside of me became jealous.  We need this rawness in our sport.  This insurmountable toughness that only can be tamed by the strongest of wills.
(2011 IAAF World Cross-Country course in Spain)
Is this a manicured lawn or a XC course?
This is what XC should be
While slightly masochistic, there is something rewarding in success through misery.  Being able to tap into your inner self and find strength you never knew you had.  To fight through the harshest of elements.  To test every aspect of your body and mind- that is when you can really see what you are made of.  Or maybe it is just because I like mud.  Either way, watching the major cycling Classics has made me envious and wishful for a new level of toughness in cross-country, one that challenges all aspects of our bodies and minds.

Until next time,