My daughter is in seventh grade this year, which means that she can finally participate in school athletics. She went back and forth on the decision to run cross country but after a couple of days with the PE kids, she decided she would much rather participate in a sport.
I was reluctant to even encourage cross country because I didn’t want to be one of those parents that forces their kids to participate in the sport that they like, but I was secretly overjoyed that she joined. I enjoyed watching the meets, cheering her on (occasionally a little over enthusiastically) and buying her running gear (I may have gone overboard here as well). But my favorite part of her being on the XC team was the running we got to do together. I sometimes got a little coachy with her but mostly we just chatted and had a good time. We got a lot of quality time together and now that the season is over I miss our runs.
As for her actual XC season, it was amazing. Our team was small and didn’t do great overall but all the girls improved week to week. Every meet was a PR for my daughter. I was impressed with her fitness gains from week to week, I wish it were that easy for me to improve my racing times :). She already has her goals set for next season and we have plans to run over the summer together so that she is better prepared going into the first few races. I have a feeling in a couple of years I may have a hard time keeping up with her… she has said her ultimate goal is to beat me in a 5K race, I am going to try to stay ahead of her as long as I can.