What’s it like being a collegiate athlete?
Being in your late teens-early 20s, it can be hard to put life into perspective sometimes. Prioritizing can be especially difficult because you don’t know the true value of actions until you’ve had the experience.
College athletics for most (not all) allows you to get the experience at a time where it is most advantageous. This is why employers like hiring former athletes. Being able to develop a level of emotional maturity through experience early on can be a valuable trait.
For me, being a college athlete was more of an emotional journey than a physical one. You are forced, more internal than external, to give up the pleasantries most young adults seek in college. Parties, clubs, hangouts. You have a decision to make. Finish your assignments, study and get a good night’s sleep OR go and hangout with friends at a risk to your performance the following day.
In track & field ESPECIALLY, you learn very quickly that every day counts. In team based sports, there is a support system when in competition. On the track, if you miss training there is no one that can support you in that race.
With that sacrifice, you also begin to develop a self of individuality. You understand that your success depends solely on your willingness to work.
And work it took. Between going to the gym on your own time, late nights studying, and keeping a food log to make sure you got adequate nutrition to maximize performance.
No more pork. No more beef. No more dairy. Bye-bye High-Fructose Corn Syrup.
Welcome fasting. Welcome primarily veggies and legumes. Welcome high protein low-cards.
You didn’t need someone to tell you to do these things. What you knew was that to get the edge on those doing the same training, you have to do something they are not willing to do. From then on, your nutrition and positive mindset set you apart from the pack.
This is all to say.
SET YOURSELF APART
Whether you’re: a single mother, a 12+ hour shift worker, financially dependent or financially free. The only thing that sets you apart is what you are willing to do that others are not.