Freshman hopes and dreams

4ad1e6849It’s the light this time of year. So many strong associations of late summer training with warm days, rich twilights and cool nights. It always meant the start of school and training sessions two times a day. One can’t help draw upon those experiences as you build new fitness for the fall. 

Yesterday it was fun to publish a first letter home from college when I’d enrolled at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and joined the cross country team. It was lonely work in many ways. First time away from home. Finding out how much talent you truly have, or do not. 

My second letter home traces these experiences in a voice so familiar and yet distant to present days. I was reaching out to family for support while trying to provide some of my own to them. It’s all laced with running and how it undergirds the whole experience of life. My younger brother Greg had gone out for high school cross country to get in shape for basketball. It was rough going for him…

“Dear Family,

Chris as a freshman

The long hair. The thin moustache. Must be freshman year in college.

Nice to hear everyone is getting along allright. Even Bessie (mom’s car.)

So the parents are ripping up the ol’ choir circuit! That church must be giving bonuses to their recruiters for finally hooking “The Cudworths!” The church will be struck down by a thunderbolt, I’m sure, if Gary joined. Or maybe a flood, or hurr’y’cane…something. 

Gotta talk to Greggy here a minute. C’mere Greg. I’m glad to hear you’re trying hard at cross country. We don’t all beat Finnestad or Andrews the first year. Knowing the guys is the most important part of running anyway. Believe in yourself, not matter how sh—– or how tired you are at times. I get the same way. I’m rated 8th-9th man right now—even though I’ve beaten the seventh and eighth consistently these past weeks. My early season hurt me. My training was hampered several ways, but the second half will be my strong suit. I’ve been anticipating success—even in my shitt–races–I feel my strength coming on. Your older brother ain’t no different than you. 

Those birds you and Gar’ have been seeing have got me envious. Hawks! You muthas. At LaCrosse, Wisconsin we ran by the Mississippi. There were snow and blue geese flying by during the meet. Also American egrets. Cooper’s hawk. Gigantic garter snake got spiked during the race, guts and scales!

Hey Gary, my art teacher is not bad. He is really pissed, though, at the school policy of making models wear leotards. He makes me forsake some preconceived notions on drawing, for a better result. My draftsmanship is improving. I might take live model (a nude course, meant for second year, but Whelan got me in) drawing. 

My grades are steady, but got a low “C” on my first biology test. Nothing to worry about since my labs have been good. Today we cut up a rat. Last week we watched crickets fight and get it on. 

English is OK. Freshman Studies is something else. I have been reading (and researching) Mao Tse Tung. Some of his notions are feasible. Damian Archibold (our 3rd runner) knows much about the subject and we jaw on communistic notions during our morning runs together. 

I’m gonna get my haircut for 50¢ by some chick in Brandt who makes money that way. I’m growing a ‘stache.

Tell Trent (EN: HS cc coach) if you see him my season is fair, but I’m just starting to feel the groove of last year. Five miles is great. So constant. I’m improving. 

The weather is in the 70s, clear. Today supposed to be low 80s. 

The Luther Cross Country team circa 1975 included the first two women to compete at the college level.

The Luther Cross Country team circa 1975 included the first two women to compete at the college level.

How’s the gas holding out without me at home?! Speaking of that, PJ is itching me to come back fall break. He would drive me to Dubuque for the meet and we’d come home that afternoon. I might do just that, the 18th of Oct. Stay till Tuesday. Paul is coming home for Homecoming. If you see him you’re know it’s not an imposter. It’s safe to say hello. Hah hah. 

I don’t know if I’ve said…I ran 27:10 and 27:02 for five miles, both times sixth man. This week is St. Olaf Invitational at Northfield, Minnesota. I’ll break 26:50 I’m sure. Hope your golf game was nice mom. Dad, thanks for fixing mom’s care, she’s happier in her letters that way. I love you all, Chris.”





About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @genesisfix07 and blogs at, and Online portfolio:
This entry was posted in Christopher Cudworth, running, We Run and Ride Every Day and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.