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Personal sport challenges Moore

Junior Daniel Moore runs cross country for the third consecutive year, enduring the pain and difficulties that come with long distance running. With numerous three-mile races ahead of him, he trains daily in preparation.

Moore is one of two runners on the cross country team this year. On such a small team, he faces the difficulty of staying motivated and keeping his goals. Despite this, Moore continues to run, pursuing the individual sport.

Moore started cross country early, joining many of his friends on the elementary school team. He continued to run throughout high school as well.

“I first joined cross country in sixth grade because a lot of people were joining; almost all my friends were on the team,” Moore said. “I decided to join and it was kind of fun, so I continued to run.”

Some of the reasons Moore enjoys cross country are the personal challenge it presents and the brotherly atmosphere found in the sport.

“One of the things I like about cross country is that you are always competing against yourself; you are just trying to beat your own time,” Moore said. “Usually our school does not compete for first place or anything, so we have to compete against ourselves. There?s also a lot of camaraderie in the team, and we come up with a lot of inside jokes because suffering together makes good friends.”

For Moore, motivation comes from the desire to improve. After coming close last year, he hopes to reach his goal time at Woodward Park.

“I used to be motivated by the snow cone at the finish line, but that doesn?t really work anymore,” Moore said. “I guess my motivation is just the competitiveness of the sport and the desire to improve myself. I?d really like to get a time of less than 20 minutes at the Woodward Park 5K [3.1 mile] course. I got really close last year, and I?m improving, so hopefully I can reach that.”

However, there have been some obstacles for Moore throughout his running. Not only have their been physical difficulties, but the lack of runners means that FC is unable to compete for team placement.

“Last year, I broke my arm jumping over a tennis net, and missed out on what was probably the most important week of conditioning that year,” Moore said. “I felt like I was a little behind after that. Also, not having a lot of team members is kind of annoying. It is fun to run when you have enough people to compete as a team. We really need more people.”

Janet Moore, Daniel’s mother, believes that cross country has taught Daniel valuable lessons regarding perseverance.

“Cross country has been a good experience for Daniel,” Janet said. “Cross country as a sport helps develop perseverance. You have to really push through when it?s hard, which helps in other areas as well. It has made him work really hard, and it has been great exercise. I think he has really enjoyed it.”

Cross country coach Ross Laird appreciates the dedication shown by Moore during practice.

“Daniel is showing marked improvement,” Laird said. “I am very impressed with his effort in practice, even when the running is really tough. As intelligent as he is, he can really think his way through the races and competition.”

Moore admits that cross country makes it difficult to fulfill some of his academic goals. Other extracurricular activities only add to the workload.

“Cross country practice essentially eats up two hours of time every day,” Moore said. “That leaves me less time to do homework and study, and I also have extracurricular commitments. For example, on Wednesdays I have about an hour total for homework in between practice and youth group.”

Although he enjoys running, he does not plan on pursuing it in college.

“I do not plan on running in college,” Moore said. “People at the college level are insane; they?re running miles faster than I could ever dream to. Usually they are somewhat natural at the sport, and they do incredible amounts of running and training. I don?t really want to do all that.”

Moore also participates in other activities throughout the year, and enjoys his spare time at home.

“Besides cross country, I also compete in soccer and tennis, and I?m in the FC choir and journalism,” Moore said. “I enjoy reading, playing videogames and playing with my dog. Every once in a while, I like to play ping-pong or chess in my spare time.

Cross country has improved Moore’s endurance, and he has gained some life lessons from his running experience.

“Cross country has taught me a lot of perseverance,” Moore said. “There?s a lot of hard stuff to do; obviously, we are running hard. It?s taught me to keep going even when things are painful, and that hard work isn?t always a bad thing.”

For more sports, read the Oct. 24 article, Cross country sport shorts: Clovis Twilight Invitational.

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