Being a student-athlete is a special and short-lived time in a person’s life. It’s the beautiful balancing act of stress and success. I often find myself trying to remember that a lot of my stress comes from the continuing desire to achieve and if I wasn’t stressed it would mean that I didn’t care enough.
The first collegiate mountain bike race came only a few weeks on into the school year on September 10th and 11th in Waterloo, Wisconsin.
After 5 am wake up times all week to get on the bike by 5:30 to finish by 8 to go to class by 9 to finish by 2, and to work clinical hours until 6…I was ready for a much needed get away where I could ride my bike in the day light. It wouldn’t be a straight shot to get there though.
On Wednesday morning, I loaded up the vans, but not the cycling vans, the football vans, in order to travel with the football team to a game 6 hours away. I would work as their athletic trainer for the next two days during their practices and Thursday night game. As soon as the buzzer went off though, my focus came back to the quickly approaching race day. At 11 pm we loaded the vans again and began our 6 hour drive back to campus. Arriving at 5 am, I got a 45 minute nap and jumped on the trainer by 6 for some openers. Then off to the races we went…after another 6 hour drive of course.
On Saturday, I got a gap early and was forced to make a choice and go off the front only 10 minutes into the race. 2 hours later I was happy to take the first collegiate victory of the season in the cross country race and then double down and win the short track the next day.
It truly is a gift to be able to pursue education and athletics. It’s a gift that comes with a lot of hard work, but a gift nonetheless. I am so thankful for this time of my life where there are more opportunities than imaginable. I can’t wait to see exactly the paths that I go down in life, all I hope is that is I’m riding my bike on it and maybe it has a jump or two. 😉