This is a short descriptive piece as part of a writing exercise. Enjoy!
They were the crazy ones, the animals. The snow was starting to melt, and that meant the short shorts could come out and soon the shirts would come off.
That’s what happened at the end of the indoor season. For distance guys, at least. The community trails would be slippery and wet with puddles galore. The smart ones would stick to the roads when given the chance. The adventurous ones would take that chance to find the less beaten path through the forest preserve and tromp through the woods and brush, coming back caked in mud and brambles up to their knees.
For the most part, each week went about the same way. Hard workouts happened three days a week, recovery runs twice, a JV meet for those below, and a weekend meet for the stars. By the end of the day, long after the rest of the athletes had gone home, they would start their cooldown and core routines. Then it was homework (or not) and bed. School days started early, and student athletes needed rest.
Don’t think Spring Break was a vacation. Coach would hand out a schedule the week before Break started, and anyone serious about it would be there at 8 AM, bright and early. These workouts were even more intense, since we had the whole day to recover before the next workout. Naps were frequent, and homework was rushed the Sunday before school started again.
Their other friends never understood. How could they? To them, it was punishment. To those insane few it was a way of life, etched in their bones even if they weren’t the most devout practitioners.