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It was 7AM in a parking lot across from First Monday grounds and there were forty School busses parked and unloaded. This was a Senior and Junior High School CROSS-COUNTRY MEET.   SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY plus teenagers had already put up their school tents, were stretching, jogging, or just hanging out doing their own pre-race routine.  The Boys varsity was starting at eight AM.

This batch of pre-millennials were out of bed before 5AM on a Saturday Morning, dressed, fed, loaded on school buses, and arrived from all over North Texas. Folks that is not normal. 

This cross-country bunch is not normal. These kids ran distances of two to eight miles or more almost every day of their summer break alone or in an unorganized group.  They  tracked  themselves on their smartwatches and smartphones. They track themselves, drink lots of water and are savvy of what it takes to become a better trained runner. This cross-country bunch are not normal teenagers.

A high school cross-country course is between two and seven miles. Many of the great half and full marathoners started their training this way as teenagers. Some of these courses are grass, rolling hills, with ruts, cow piles, gopher holes, and other surprises.

 Cross country runners pace themselves. Their only competitor is the one they looked at in the mirror this morning.  There is an early turn and uphill run this course. Sometimes the first runners are already “out of gas”. This is how they learn to pace themselves They are learning self-discipline. The, faces of each finisher was a story. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. This is not a team sport. Every one of those kids let it all hang out. This cross- country bunch are not normal teenagers.

Athletes need to be in “good shape”. Cross country is great for the heart and lungs to get stronger, and great to build muscle strength.

I walk, write, talk and blog about healthy happy living. It is my Passion,

Our country is losing the battle of obesity. Over 70% of us are overweight. Over 30% of us are obese. 

There were over 650 Cross-Country Competitors that day. I watched about 200 Senior High boys and girls start and finish their race.  As a journalist I observe, ask questions and spend a lot of time researching health, wellness, sickness, illness and chronic disease. I also walk the walk and practice what I preach. What makes those kids different?

I saw no obese starters and finishers. None.  The crowd was about average. Maybe 70% were overweight with their donuts, sugar drinks and remints of the stuff they got at the burger doodle drive through window.  Yes, maybe close to 30% of the crowd was medically obese.

What makes those kids different?

 Every one of those cross-country athletes drink lots of water. Every one of those fantastic cross-country athletes is personally responsibility to themselves for their training.

THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE