Nonetheless, this transition from Summer to Fall, from the coast of Southern California to the hustle of the Northeast, is without a doubt my favorite time of year, and is always marked by two "preseason camps." At the Runner's Workshop camp in Idyllwild, CA, I worked for a week as a counselor at the beginning of August with my best friend and training partner of the summer, Jake Jeanson. Having been to the camp twice as a camper during the summers before my Junior and Senior years in high school, I didn't think the camp could get any better -- that is, until I became a counselor. That we actually get paid to run, play games, and share our passion for cross country and track with 200 young up-and-coming running geeks just like us, all at 5,000+ feet in the mountains of California, makes me question the logic of striving for something like law school (or any kind of school for that matter). This year's camp, as usual, lived up to every expectation. I led a cabin of 9 young dudes (Team Extreme!), all in a different stage of their running careers but each of them excited and motivated to improve. Morning wake-up (complete with a bugle call from Colin Hacker) is at 0600, and we run through some dynamic warm-up drills before beginning our workout of the day. Each afternoon we compete in Camp Competitions, with each cabin group fighting for points that determine the ultimate winners at the end of the week, the prize being free ice-cream sundaes in the dining hall. Naturally, the games take on a level of competitiveness that only a group of distance runners (lacking most, if not all, hand-eye coordination and athletic skill) can muster.
It's still painful to admit, but Team Extreme! fell short of our goal of a Top 3 finish. Nevertheless, I was proud to defend my belly-flop competition title from 2010 (the only event that really matters), just barely edging out the dress-wearing Mike Crouch. I may not ever touch his 13:40 5k P.R., but he'll have to make me bleed before I give up that title.
|Jumping for the title in 2010 -- the beginning of a dynasty?|