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Reviewed by Carolina Restrepo for Readers' Favorite
P.M. Hall begins his book, Running High School Cross-Country, The Southwest Way, by re-telling the story of Southwest High School's cross-country team from the year 1942 to its last state championship in the '80s. This compilation of dates, scores, and facts is very thorough, due to the fact that the author was a member of the cross-country team in the '70s. He explains to his readership everything from summer practices, mindset, championships, races, meets, qualifications and so much more, and by the end, you will feel as if you could be a cross-country coach. The story takes a turn into how the author, a high school cross-country student, became a coach for more than 30 years at different schools and universities across the country. His experience in the field made him one of the best coaches of his time, and his high school coaches shaped his life and his future.
Running High School Cross-Country, The Southwest Way gives my legs and feet the inspiration they need to get up and run again. It reminds me of the freedom and power that running gives to an individual. Learning about the history of cross-country in a school is more inspiring than I thought it would be. I like to consider myself a runner, but after reading P.M. Hall's account, it has made me realize that there is much more to consider than the enjoyment and the time for running. Committing to such a sport requires strong mental motivation and endurance, and obstacles will come our way whether we are the best or the worst. Professionalism is a positive thing I will take away from this read, as well as the motivation to keep our heads held high, no matter what. Most importantly, never believing that you are better than everyone else. Running High School Cross-Country, The Southwest Way is a must-read and a bedside table necessity for every cross-country or track coach out there.