Student Athlete Column: Hard Times


Things have been tough recently for me. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Going to practice has been tougher than usual.

I’m midway through my season and I don’t feel like I’m in shape. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still getting one foot in front of the other. But I don’t feel like myself. I’ve gotten dropped during most workouts. I’m feeling more tired than usual on runs. The 7 a.m. wakeup has always felt rough, but it’s been feeling like a death march lately. I feel exhausted, physically and mentally. The most frustrating thing is that nothing is exactly wrong. I’ve recovered from the flu. My glute healed up. I got my iron checked, and the levels look fine. But mentally, it doesn’t feel fine at all.

Indoor is usually my favorite season. There’s something I love about the cramped, excited atmosphere, with hundreds of people swarmed around a track. I can’t exactly put last year’s season into words. I ran personal records, ran on all the relays and just felt confident in my abilities. Looking back on it now hurts. I went from the best shape of my life to running over 10 seconds slower in less than a year.

The fact that this is my senior year provides more of a sting. I can blame a lot of factors for why I feel this way. I lost weeks of training from the flu, I haven’t raced nearly as much as last year or maybe my body’s still recovering from everything it’s gone through. But I always end up blaming myself. It’s easy to say no, it’s not your fault, you’ve been dealt with not-so-great circumstances! I know that, I just can’t help it.

It’s easy to fall into a downward spiral, but it’s harder to pull yourself out of it. My “best” right now is nowhere where I want to be. It’s driving me insane! I’m used to success, so feeling far from it hurts.

I could wrap this piece up with a pretty little bow and find some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve stated it before, I try to be as positive as humanly possible. But I’m also not perfect, no matter how hard I try to be. It’s important to recognize that, for every peak, there’s a valley.

I want to share my struggles because I want anyone out there reading this, whether you’re an athlete or not, to know that this is all normal. Stuff happens. It can’t always be sunshine and rainbows. Just don’t let it change who you are.

At my last meet, I got very overwhelmed near the end. My friends sat me down and warned me that I was getting a little too existential (this happens a lot). Everything feels bigger than it actually is.

I know, in about a year from now, I’ll forget about most of the hard times. But it’s also okay to mourn the loss of what senior year could’ve been. But hey, the season’s not over. I still have time to turn this around.