Saturday, September 22, 2012

Times Have Changed: I'm Left Behind

It never seems that long ago to me.  Cross Country for high school athletes sure has changed from what I remember.

Old School (1970s): Practice right after school.
New School (2012): Practice at 5:30PM, just 1 1/2 hours after they get home from school.

Old School: Practice lasts 1 1/2 hours, team meeting included. Ends on time.
New School: Practice lasts 2 1/2 hours, followed by a team meeting. Never on time.

Old School: Practice at high school, trip home by school bus.
New School:  Practice at numerous variable sites, transportation necessary both to and from.

Old School: Dual Meets twice weekly.
New School: Quad or Quintuple Meets once weekly.

Old School: Tattoos only on a spectating ex-Marine Uncle from out of town.
New School: Neck tattoos on Freshman runners.

Old School: No sunglasses.
New School: Sunglasses on an overcast day as essential running equipment.

Old School: Nike Waffles.
New School: "Barefoot" Shoes.

Old School:  Winner at about 16:00 for boys 18:00 for girls.
New School: Winner at about 16:00 for boys 18:00 for girls.

Old School:  No idea what friends are up to during practice.
New School: Tweets and Facebook updates during practice to know that friends are "chillin".

Old School: Coach is basketball coach and high school math teacher.
New School: Coach is 6-time All-American and stay-at-home-dad.

Old School: 0 assistant coaches.
New School: 6 assistant coaches.

Old School: 1 Newspaper article a year, with many facts wrong.
New School:  Blog with daily updates on minutiae of every runner's life.

Old School: Quarter mile or half mile repeats a staple.
New School: Don't know what a quarter is.

Old School: One runner with a VW van on its last legs takes a few people home.
New School: Each runner over 16 drives their own BMW, Lexus or Mercedes home.

Old School:  Cotton
New School: Lycra

Old School: Stretch
New School: Core

Old School: Fartlek
New School: Lactate-Threshold or Tempo

Now with Bonus Calvin and Hobbes Cartoon:  If  it were written today!

Calvin and Hobbes: New School:


  1. I just returned home from driving an hour to drop off my daughter at her Saturday (is that new school too?)XC practice. Once a week or so they go to other schools to practice on their course. It's almost time to go pick her up. 2 hours in the car before noon!

  2. Old school: Time the run and guess how many miles you ran. Return home to record it in a notebook.

    New School: GPS tells you exactly the time, distance, and elevation changes, all downloadable into a spreadsheet.

  3. I just got home from taking my daughter to Saturday Practice also. My wife is heading out to pick her up! (And I'm not making that up!) I agree, Saturday Practice is also New School.

    And I used to use a piece of clear tape with mileage marked on it to follow a route on a USGS topographic map to gauge the distance. I'll bet I was more accurate than the GPS is today.

  4. Their practice today is at the scene of the County Race. I never saw a course ahead of time. Of course I never even ran the district race before my Senior year.

  5. Old School: Popsicle stick at finish
    New School: Computer chip in shoe

  6. Old school - jockstraps
    New school - built-in liner

  7. Old school - the woods
    New school - port-a-johns

    Old school - leaves
    New school - toilet paper

  8. Or even:

    Old School: Out the door- 2 socks, In the door- 1 sock.

    New School: Probiotics.


Thanks for commenting. Keep up the good work! (Try to mention others to encourage them to comment too!)

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