Hope is the foundation of every good cross country team. Hope that all the work you put in over the summer pays a return. Hope that the next rep really is the last (and that coach won’t pull a fast one, even though we both know they probably will). This last year, hope’s been hard to come by, replaced by an unsettling rattle in the back of every harrier’s psyche. Some days it’s louder than others, but it is consistent: when will things be normal again? When can I race? When can I hug my teammates? Every day we wake up hoping to be one step closer to answering these questions, but unfortunately each morning we are met with the same cold uncertainty that inhabited the day prior. With no warm embraces or start lines in sight, we are reminded of the futility of answering those questions in the first place- reminded by the impending frustration of comparing where we were to where we are now.