‘A Day in the Life of XC’

I see a lot of videos, I’m sure you do as well. Fortunately, I have a handful of reliable video aggregators who spare me the chafe, the Johnny Knoxville wannabes, those with a severe case of Narsicame. For the most part, I see only the awe-inspiring: the best of trick rider Danny MacAskill, the most death-defying wing suit videos, pretty much anything from the Red Bull collection.


But my favorite to date is a simple, local video shot last week by Alex Clarke of Raleigh’s Enloe High School. It’s titled, “A Day in the Life of XC,” and it chronicles a typical training run by members of the school’s cross-country team.

I know it’s a typical run because my stepson is on the team and I frequently press him for details of the day’s run, especially those at Umstead State Park. They never do the same run twice. Some runs include a dip along the way in a Piedmont creek. Some are on trail I didn’t know existed, that they didn’t know existed until it crossed their path. Some include encounters with quicksand. Some runs are  five miles, some turn out to be 13 or more. Ben sleeps especially well after an Umstead workout, though they are workouts in name only. That’s what I love about Alex’s video.

Alex and four teammates dance across logs, they leap across creeks, they tightwalk across the lip of a long-abandoned dam. They play under blue skies, shirts off, in the dead of winter. They find a rope swing along the way. They take a shortcut down a tree trunk. They have a blast. They advocate an inspired approach to working out.

Tag along with Alex and the boys and see if  they don’t make you want to dance across a log as well.

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