The Northwest cross country team has achieved great success this season, and for the men on the team it all comes down to a single phrase: “One Less Day.”
To an outsider, this short saying may seem insignificant, but it has a major impact on each and every athlete on the team. It is the driving force behind the Bearcats’ success throughout this season.
To the team, “One Less Day” is all about unity and making the most of the time it has been given. It means working as a team to accomplish goals, because the runners know they only have so much time before the season comes to an end.
Senior Wick Cunningham has been on the team for four years and has seen many athletes find success. This year is different. This season, everyone is focusing on working as one unit and working together to conquer their goal. Cunningham had success in past seasons as an individual, but for him, nothing compares to the exhilaration of achieving success as a team.
“We started it this year, and ‘one less day’ to us means one less race day, and one less day that we get to be together, so let’s make the most of this opportunity while we have each other,” Cunningham said.
This phrase means something different to each individual, but regardless of interpretation, it has served as a reminder throughout the year that giving up is not an option. In the wake of injury, exhaustion and the stress of everyday life, this one phrase helped each man push through the obstacles and continue to chase their goals.
Surrendering to the struggles is impossible because how you run each day determines whether or not there will be a next day. Taking the day off or not training hard enough could mean the difference between qualifying for nationals or the end of the season. “One Less Day” not only means working together, but it means giving everything you can every single day, because how you run today could affect if you run tomorrow.
This concept is a key motivation for senior Tim Grundmayer. This is his last season, and in order to reach the goals the team has set, everyone needs to give their full effort every day and train to the best of their ability.
“To me, it just means you can’t waste any time, because this is our last year as seniors, and the last year of this group running together,” Grundmayer said. “As each day goes by, it’s about getting everything you can out of it, because today’s run is going to affect tomorrow’s and so forth.”
For the seniors on the team, this phrase takes on an even more special meaning. Not only do they have one less day of the season, but they have one less day of their collegiate careers. While the underclassman have next year to look forward to, the seniors will only be left with the memories they made throughout their years at Northwest.
When the runners clock their final times Saturday the 19th and anxiously wait for the results to come in, no one will be thinking about what they could have done differently. Everyone will be soaking up the final minutes of the season and reminiscing on all the good times they had throughout the year.
“One Less Day” will become “One Last Day” to enjoy the brotherhood and camaraderie they have experienced this season, and will bring them one day closer to the next season of their lives.