Girls XC 2012 Hits the Road
August 10, 2012By Charlie Cutelli of Parkway West Girls' Cross Country
First week is out of the way. It was relatively warm but everyone seemed to survive. The first week is always a struggle. Summer is winding down, people are returning from vacation, camp, summer jobs are ending etc. I am happy to say that we have had over 30 girls at practice this week. My current final count is at about 38. That is more than last year. A lot of new faces....9 freshmen. The first week is always the welcome back. The runs have been relatively low key as many of us return from not having run in quite some time. Today, Friday, is a big day though, as we do our timed 1 mile on the track. The weather could not have worked out better for us as it is currently 75 degrees and I am expecting there to be some very FAST times.
I recently began reading excerpts from a book titled "Champions" by Chambliss. It is a sociological study of olympic athletes and competetitive teams and what makes them so successful. He uses the term mundanity of excellence in describing how these athletes reach excellence. It is a matter of doing the small things over and over and over again. These small things add up and allow the athlete to perform better. Many athletes and spectators do not realize they need to do the mundane things to become excellent. As Chambliss says "the mundanity of excellence is typically unrecognized. I think the reason is fairly simple. Usually we see great athletes only after they have become great--after years of learning the new methods, gaining habits of competitiveness and consistency, after becoming comfortable in their world. They have long since perfected the myriad of techniques that together constitute excellence. Ignorant of all of the specific steps that have led to the performance and to the confidence, we think that somehow excellence sprang fullgrown from this person, and we say her or she "has talent" or "is gifted." Even when seen close up, the mundanity of excellence is often not believed." Michael Phelps is a great Olympic Champion. His excellence did not happen by chance. It took many hours in the water perfecting EVERY aspect of his technique and life to be great.
How many girls on the team have heard me yell "finish to the white line!!!" That is the mundanity of excellence. Finish hard and strong and those extra steps you take will prepare you mentally and physically to finish the 5K you run in the future. It is such a simple concept but can be difficult for some of us to see.