Student Athlete Column: The End of a Season


Nicoleta Papavasilakis reflects on her cross country season. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Cross country season is finally over, and honestly, I am more at ease than I have been in a while. For those who haven’t read my previous student athlete columns, a calf injury put me out for the entirety of my senior cross country season. Although I supported my team from the sidelines, as a competitor, I felt deflated having to sit out. In those moments, I was a stranger to the sport. 

For me, running is year round. Over the summers, I build up mileage in preparation for cross country in the fall. Then there is indoor track in the winter and outdoor in the spring, taking one rest week between seasons. But years of this hard work and dedication were diminished by the few months I couldn’t run.

With indoor track on the horizon, I’m approaching this new season like a clean slate, with a more positive mindset than I’ve had. After weeks of aqua jogging, biking and rehab, I’m slowly getting back into running. In the time I couldn’t run, I focused on all the little things that I often ignored — stretching more, sleeping more, drinking more water. These all sound like elemental things that I should be doing for my well being beyond running. But with classes, work and extracurriculars, it put taking care of myself on the backburner. That’s probably what got me injured in the first place. 

I’ve noticed since I began running again, I lost the aerobic endurance that I had from the summer and the calf thing hasn’t completely vanished. This is not me being negative. I’d be lying to myself if said that things were going back to normal just like that. The reality is, healing takes time. Time that I would have to carve out for myself. Being positive doesn’t mean pretending like everything is good and fine. Rather, it’s accepting what’s at present and, instead of expecting the worse or becoming stuck in self pity, envisioning a better future.

I have three months until my first race of the indoor track season, giving me plenty of time to get strong and rebuild my endurance. This is me being positive.