Student-Athlete Column: Coming Back to Finish Strong


Bell reflects on her college career as the challenges of the season return. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The long, grueling process of the preseason has started, and it has been difficult to enjoy it for the last time. The tough workouts and lifting sessions have begun, and there is no going back. We have been jolted back to reality, and the real track season has begun again. The sprinters and jumpers have a new coach, and she is not playing any games. Our coach has come full force with us and has shown us that she is ready to make us a competitive team. 

With a new freshman class and upperclassmen who are ready to become leaders, the Fordham track team is looking forward to competing on the track with no interruptions. 

After three years of being on the track team, I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief  now that I have reached the point where the end is near. The end is so close, yet so far away. I find that I have to force myself to remember that I am not there yet. I have to fight hard, just like I would during a tough workout. My mom has always told me that I needed to “finish strong” in anything that I do whether that is during a workout, in class or anything else. 

With a new perspective on my event, our new coach, Keela Austin is the future of the team. I unfortunately do not feel like I am  part of that future because I am the past of Fordham, a has-been on the team. My age has kicked in, and I believe that I have reached my limit. 

It could be the senioritis hitting me, but I am having a hard time facing the fact that it is almost done. It is my last year with my teammates who have been by my side throughout a crazy and unpredictable last three years, and I still feel like I just started here. We are going through the same, difficult starts of preseason and the looming decisions of competition that are up ahead.

When I face the music and realize that the end is near, I have a difficult time doing what I need to do. I’ve struggled during workouts, however, I have forced myself to realize that I cannot give up. I have to finish strong.

This last year as an athlete, I have become more reflective of the time I have spent here, and I feel like it went by in the blink of an eye. They say that college goes by fast, but I did not realize how fast they meant. It seems to have sped by Sha’Carri style, and there is no going back to the past.

I think about the time I spent laughing, crying and celebrating everything I’ve done as an athlete, and I feel like I am not done. There is still another year for me to get through, even if I have to force myself to crawl through it. The end is here, but it has just begun.