Ex- College Athletes and Their “Issues”

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Laundry

Who knew that your workout clothes couldn’t sit in your laundry basket for a week all soaked in sweat? I didn’t because in college I had a nice man by the name of Jay who would wash my clothes for me. Well, not just me but I was totally a favorite! How do I know this? Well he would never yell at me ever though I would pack my bag so full it looked like it would burst open at the seams! He also would leave me Jolly Ranchers in my locker, we had a special relationship. The fact that I never had to wash my athletic clothes came as a harsh realization when I found out how much I actually sweat!

How to work out without the threat of something happening if you don’t show

So we all try it, go to Planet Fitness, the first day you run and lift like you are training for season. You go steadily for probably a good week or two and one day you just aren’t feeling it, so you don’t go. Well one day turns into three months off and before you know it the only exercise you get is running downstairs when the pizza guy is at the door. The problem is no one is going to yell at you and make you do burpees until you puke because you “didn’t feel like it”. So this is where we see who has the mental toughness, so start working out like you have a championship game to prep for.

Or on the opposite side of the spectrum, you go 100% all the time and beat yourself up if you can’t make the gym one day! You even workout when you go away on a business trip because nothing is going to stop you. If you are wondering if people think you’re nuts, they totally, without hesitation do. Because they don’t understand the fear of God your coach put into you. You don’t have a team to “let down” if you aren’t in shape but you still feel like you have to train.

How to Dress

You are told what to wear and how to wear it. On the bus you all dressed alike because you did not want to piss your coach off by embarrassing her when you walked off the bus in mismatched outfits! So not only did you have to dress the same in season but you still dressed alike in your off-season. You all have the same t-shirts and sweats, and since you don’t explore the other feminine sections of your closet, there is a big chance you and a teammate will be wearing the ’09 Spring Ball t-shirt. Then there is the biggest situation, sweatpants aren’t acceptable all of the time? My Nike running shorts and a Hanes white tee were and still is my go to outfit (outside of work now…)

Competitive Nature

My most endearing quality, being absurdly competitive. Everything from driving somewhere and having to be first to winning a game of bowling! At work my competitive nature drives me to be the best, which only proves how crazy I am! You were conditioned to be competitive and how to perform under pressure. Competing as an athlete is great. Competing once you’re an ex-athlete…. not so much. I’m sorry but your co-workers don’t care that you are dome league camps or that you beat everyone in suicides in your fitness class…

It’s hard when you find someone who is competitive JUST like you because it obviously isn’t the norm. You see how crazy you actually look and it kinda puts things into perspective. Until you have to compete… and win again…

How not to hurt

Not having a trainer to stretch you out before practice and someone to fix your boo boos is rough #firstworldproblems. I loved going to the trainer before and after practice with my aches and pains because they knew what to do to fix it! We are basically just giant three year olds who come crying when we get hurt! I loved just having that guidance of what to do or just even someone to stretch my hammy out when it was a little too tight! I would go to my trainer all the time with things like “Why does my leg hurt when I push on it like this?” and “I have this weird red mark, is it staph???” My athletic trainer is going to miss me so much….

Physical punishment is not acceptable in real world problems

Wait… So… If I do something wrong my coworkers don’t have to run? Or have their work clothes taken away like our workout gear did in college?? Huh…
Apparently physical punishment is not used outside of sports, well not in most countries. You were terrified if you woke up late for practice or if you tried to skip out on lifting and got caught! In the real world (and by real world I mean life after college) you just lose your job. No yelling, no pushups, no scene is made, just a clean break and there is no looking back. Or you just get in trouble or written up. Again, no cursing or running… just an eerily calm yet stern conversation.

How to eat properly

You don’t have triples in 98 degree heat, you instead have a “snack drawer” in you 70 degree office. You used to be able to eat whatever you wanted whenever you wanted, even 5 Slim Jim’s at 4am! Well now things start to slow down a little, plus you don’t have all summer to workout because you have to earn a living! My schedule used to entail sleeping until whenever I felt like getting up, working out for a few hours (I’m lucky now to get 1 hour in) then I’d go work at the pizzeria for a few hours! So when I still eat like I’m 19 it shows, no only does my mile slow down but my metabolism does too….

Early morning practice is NOT like getting up for work

7:00am practice does not prepare you for the real world no matter what they tell you. I would have practice from 7a to 9a and a class at 9:50 am and I WOULD GO HOME AND NAP!!! Then I would be late to class, still with marks on my face from my pillow then start my day. Well running around for 2 hours/ 5 days a week, does not a work week make. There is no way to compare the two. I have to be alert and competent for 40 hours a week. While hockey, now considered a hobby, was my employer. I would exercise, have meals paid for and spend time with friends. Work is similar in the sense that, it’s not at all…

I can’t skip things for sporting events?

Ever since high school school, we would get pulled from class to go compete in a game. Our schooling was put on hold while we were allowed to leave early so we could prepare. In college we would be gone for a weekend or a day, missing our classes but expected to keep up our grades. Multitasking was a must! So now I don’t get pulled out early so I could go to the gym, well I could, I would just have to use vacation time. But I’d much rather use my vacation time to go shopping or catch up on sleep! I must say I really miss that privilege they should really incorporate something like that at work!

 

So all my athletes “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” So whether that “up” means out of bed in the morning to walk on the treadmill or continue to train for your 10th marathon, keep it up!

 

Until next time,

xoxo
Ellen

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