With the return of the school year, Pinewood cross country returns and senior Michael Bodine gets to display his remarkable talents once again.

This year marks Bodine’s final cross country season, and after running all four years of high school and three years of middle school, it is safe to say that Bodine is a tremendously
experienced runner.

It might be hard to believe, but at one point Bodine was not such a skilled runner. While Bodine was not bad at other sports as a child, he did not have any zeal for them – ­until he encountered running. Since then, Bodine has molded himself into a superior athlete who runs multiple miles six days a week and has a strict high performance based diet with copious amounts of protein.

  Bodine is a disciplined athlete who encompasses a lot of grit, and he has the impressive times and titles to go along with it. Last year, Bodine received an honorable mention from the WBAL, running a 19:16.0 PR in the 2.95 mile at the WBAL finals, a 20:11.0 PR in the three mile at the Hoka One Earlybird Invitational, and a 19:11.8 PR in the 5,000 meter at
WBAL Baylands.

If his times are not spectacular enough, Bodine’s leadership is also noteworthy. He credits much of his leadership to how previous seniors lead.

“[Senior Nikhil Pimpalkhare and I] looked up to other seniors as we’ve progressed, so I think a lot of it in cross country is just leading by example and making sure you’re at practices,”
said Bodine.

Bodine does not consider himself a very verbose captain. Instead, he leads by example and gives the rest of his teammates a goal to aspire to.

In cross country, physical toughness is a matter of conditioning and persistence, but the real obstacle is the mental game. When amino acids start burning up in your calves and every muscle in your body is telling you to stop, your brain needs to be trained to the fullest to keep on going, and Bodine had some very insightful advice on how to become mentally resilient.

“You need to push yourself to the limits and know your limits. To be good at the sport, you just have to know yourself and where you stand and where you can physically go to,” said Bodine.

Bodine started his senior season off strong, with a 17:04.7 – an average of six minutes a mile­ – at the first WBAL meet at San Bruno Mountain. He will always hold a special place on the team, and though he is leaving after this year, his leadership and excellence will inspire the team for years to come.