Sag: Do you think you have changed since you started cross country?
Fehrnstrom: Before I didn’t really think running was a sport, but now I respect it a lot, and it’s not an instant love, but when you put in a lot of hard work, and you see how far you’ve come, you start to really like it.
Sag: What commitment is necessary to be on the team?
Fehrnstrom: You practice two hours of every weekday, and sometimes races are a few hours away during weekends. Regardless of how talented you are, you will be working as hard as everybody else on the team.
Sag: What values have you learned from being a part of the team?
Fehrnstrom: I’ve learned that motivation and mental strength are just as important as physical ability, and that you have to put in time, in an effort to succeed.
Sag: What do you think you bring to the team?
Fehrnstrom: I bring a great attitude. I take it seriously. I have good relationships with my teammates. And you just have to work your hardest and bring that environment to the team. I think it’s a hard sport to do alone, but when you put in work with a group of kids, get to know their strengths and weaknesses, they get to know your strengths and weaknesses and you work together. People think of it as a solo sport, but it’s not. You need teammates.
Sag: How do you prepare for meets?
Fehrnstrom: I eat my pasta dinner, I hydrate a lot. I try to look at the race reasonably, like I’m only going to be running for twenty minutes–got to leave it all out in the field with no regrets. That’s all you can ask of yourself: that you just give every ounce of energy that you have.
Sag: What keeps you going when cross country gets really tough?
Fehrnstrom: Self-discipline. Cross country really does teach you a lot of self-discipline because getting up on a Saturday morning at 7 a.m. is a tough thing to do. It’s hard to just go out and run.
Sofia Tong can be contacted at [email protected]