The below is a feature from a young lady who I only know through our interactions via Instagram. I've witnessed her run from afar and admired the way she attacked her final race at the Crossplex. I'm thankful Sarah offered to share this feature with everyone as I think many of you will enjoy and relate to it.
Lastly, when I took the role as the new editor for Alabama Runners I wanted to make sure I did my best to make this a platform dedicated to you (the athletes), the very people who make this sport so special. Thank you for all the photos, interviews, and moments of triumph and celebration over the weekend. I look forward to capturing many more with you!
"To the Crossplex: A Goodbye Letter" by Sarah Cobb
My Crossplex chapter ended today, and the cliche description would be to call it bittersweet. But I think it was just sweet. The track cleared after the 4x400 and calm hit. Peace; contentment. As I left, I looked back once with a smile and headed to the car to start on my goodbye letter, one that I think the Crossplex deserves after being my home for the past five winters.
Indoor season is unique from outdoor: for most of us, the two are completely different. This is because there are so many small nuances that mark our memories of these beloved three months. These nuances are part of the Crossplex.
First, a farewell to all of our favorite smells, warranting eye rolls as soon as we enter the doors: popcorn (sometimes burnt), chlorine, and Biofreeze. We could close our eyes and know we are home just by those three smells.
A so-long to the stuffy air: the leading cause of the "Crossplex Cough" that we come back every Sunday with. Nothing would be the same without it.
A wave to the friendships. Ones that have been growing and multiplying since we were freshmen: when we realized it was possible to have friends on other teams. Instagram follows that turned into "good luck!" and "how'd you do?". Oh the beauty of cheering each other on! The high-fives, handshakes, and half-hugs won't be forgotten.
A nod to Spike Check and stickers that fall off during our races. The colorful zip ties we collect on our spikes: each season, trying to see how many we can acquire on one shoe. And of course, spike bags that look exactly the same as everybody else's. Thank you Nike.
And before my goodbye letter comes to a close, I will circle back to the word "bittersweet" mentioned initially. Maybe you didn't run a PR, maybe you false started. I came two seconds short of a state championship. I missed a nationals cut. Yet, I am walking away with a smile. And so, I still call this goodbye nothing but sweet. Because how beautiful were these years? How fun is it to get stronger and faster? Running is our gift. The Crossplex let us show it to the world.
Godspeed, Crossplex. You were good to me. You were good to us. As clearly as I can say it, you will be missed.