Friday, November 16, 2012


Right now I'm sitting in the living room of our house here in Austin.  It's a lot quieter than usual, giving me time to reflect on some things.  Of the seven Longhorn runners living here, four have left for the NCAA cross country meet in Louisville this weekend, meaning we make up most of the #5 ranked Texas team that we'll field on Saturday.  Our crew in the house consists of four grad students and three younger guys.  Between us graduate students and sophomore transfer Blake Williams from UNC, our house alone diversifies the team in terms of home states, age, and running experience.  I bring some of the midwest to the table in my cooking and Milwaukee accent.   Kyle Merber's savvy driving reflects his New York City street habits.  Blake uses every chance he can to barbecue any meat in sight, North Carolina style.  Trevor Van Ackeran's friendship and good cooking makes our house as comfortable as the one he grew up in in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Austin Bussing ("The Bus") is freshly graduated from Kansas U. and brings a quirky, well, indescribable flair to the house.  Then there's the star of Texas running past and present Craig Lutz, who brings a lot of talent to the team (and improves our batting average with girls).  Last but not least is Ryan Dohner, the skinny stallion and 10k All American, the one responsible for organizing this ship and its crew in the first place.

We're a rambunctious bunch, but we've got one collective goal in mind: running fast and putting ourselves and Texas on the map.  While our place shares a lot of the qualities commonly seen in any college track house (read: old shoes, socks, various rehab equipment, ice packs, sex doll named Patty), we try to do things a little differently.  Several nights a week are family dinners sometimes planned in advance but often whipped up last minute.   We hang out on our roof, watching the nearby freeway and listening to the occasional rumbling freight train while the Bus serenades us with his lovely voice and guitar skills - he does a lot of Blink 182 which I like (I was [and still am] in a Blink cover band at Princeton).  Aside from bickering about cleaning the dishes and paying the bills, we all get along surprisingly well.  I sense a bit of underlying competition between us all once in a while, but I know that's what's brought us all to this point in the first place.
The Roof.

I could think of nothing better than living with six other people who understand my running lifestyle and who share many of the goals I have.  A year ago I had no idea I was going to be in graduate school, let along Texas.  Right now I'm living life as it comes and loving it.  I'm super excited for the race this weekend.  I wish I could be there, but I'm busy getting ready for my lone indoor season.  Thats our thing: every guy in this house, doing what he needs to do to make the team the best, together.

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