I found out yesterday that college students don’t respond well to being told Happy First Day of School. I guess it doesn’t roll of the tongue the same way Happy Birthday does or even Happy Holidays. Come to think of it, it could have just been that it was a Monday devoid of any of the sunshine that this lovely state of ours is so known for.
But c’mon people, what’s not to be happy about on the first day of school? After all, the men’s team had a lovely 6:30 a.m. van ride to the St. Marks Bike Trail for the kind of arduous tempo run that left each of us with the “thousand-yard stare” in a good way, classes so interesting that I’m sure it gave each of us something to call home about, and oh, preseason regional rankings came out!
I wish there was a way to tie the movie The Mighty Ducks to our team without sounding incredibly cheesy just so I could say that, “We fly together.” However, it seems fitting considering that most of what comes out of my mouth is either pure Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (it’s the cheesiest™) or absolute sarcasm, so I’m just going to roll with it. Our similarities with the ragtag group of Twin Cities hockey nuts don’t stop with the fact that we do our best during our tempos to arrange ourselves in the Flying-V formation like the one used in the movie – don’t worry, we’re not knocking the casual biker or jogger out of our way though. No, we’re also a team with lofty goals far exceeding our rankings. In the infinite wisdom of the respective members of the committee that puts out regional rankings, we were deemed a team befitting of a fifth-place spot among the South Region.
Now I’m not saying that they got it wrong, but I’m also not-not saying that either. Ok, yes, they got it wrong. But it’s not all bad; in fact, I think it’s a good thing that we’re ranked where we are. We now know how others see the Seminoles of Florida State. And when we get out on the course this Friday in Boone for the Covered Bridge Open for our first race of the year, we know what we have to do. Just like The Mighty Ducks, we’re out to prove everyone wrong. And hey, we may not have Emilio Estevez at the helm (for those of you initiated in the eighties or nineties, that’s the guy who played the coach in the movie), but we have someone better. We have Bob Braman. And we have a team that has enough laser focus and talent to compete with any team in the nation.
So all in all, it really was a happy first day of school, though it might have been disguised as otherwise. And each ensuing day will lead us to our Mighty Duck-sized goals. Before you know it, we’ll be tying up our spikes and exceeding expectations one mile at a time. And as much as it kills me to use this word, we’ve got a bit of swagger to us right now that we didn’t have even a week ago. I’m not entirely sure where it originated, but I like it. We’re not strutting around like recently defeated Conor McGregor, but we have some pizzazz that we’re actually going to be able to back up.
Bryce Kelley, a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications, is a fifth-year Seminole from Hope Valley, R.I. A two-time All-ACC Academic selection in cross country with his undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, Kelley will be providing a weekly inside look at the FSU men’s team throughout the season.