By Shawn Wilson
When a typical Everest student thinks of their school, rows of students staring at computers probably comes to mind. However, sports are still an integral part of the school’s community, and students who participate enjoy the sense of community they feel from being a part of a team.
I interviewed three people at Everest, two students and a teacher, about their experience with running. The tight-knit community of runners was described as being so close that “even if you’re strangers, you’re able to connect because you have that bond of running.”
Cross Country is one of Everest’s newest sports, only having had a team for a single year. Coach Kelsey Boyle said that she “remembers the first day when not everybody knew each other … [but] by the end of the season everybody was cheering each other on.”
Running is a sport that is accessible to people all over the world. Since it doesn’t require a field or even a ball, running can be enjoyed anywhere. However, since it is so individualistic, motivation can be a struggle for some runners.
Being a part of a community can make it much easier to find the drive to continue improving. Everest Cross Country Captain Reed Smith stated that, “I realized that … running with other people motivated me to go harder and that never would have happened if I wasn’t running with other people.”
Apps can be integral in bringing communities together. They are used to communicate, share things, and, in the case of running, motivate. Strava is an app that allows athletes to connect with one another and compare things like mile times and overall improvement.
Everest senior Hannah Storms has participated in several races and said that she enjoys Strava since it allows her to “see my progress and follow my friends.” In a typically solo sport, this app is an important part of bringing together members of a community.
Reed Smith, who is applying for college ROTC, said that after achieving his desired mile time that would qualify him for the program, he “probably would have stopped there if I didn’t have the cross country team to motivate me.” This is an important aspect of the running community since members can both improve themselves while pushing others to do the same.
While sports often aren’t a priority in the Everest community, they certainly are extremely important in bringing students closer together, especially across grade levels. Even running, a sport that is typically thought of as very individualistic, can bring people together.
A video which compiles the three interviews is linked here. In order of appearance: Everest Cross Country Captain Reed Smith, Everest senior Hannah Storms and Everest Cross Country Coach Kelsey Boyle.