Student Athlete Column: Iron Sharpens Iron


Being alone can be tough, but you can also be your biggest motivator. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

One of the most difficult parts of training during COVID-19 was doing it alone.

Beforehand, my teammates and coaches were one of the only things that got me out of bed in the morning for practice. Training alone for months and having to rely on myself to get out the door and stay motivated day in and day out during that time was a test of perseverance and mental fortitude exacerbated by the confusion and worry of what was going on in the world around us.

Now that restrictions have eased up and we’ve trained steadily and “normally” for the past year or so, I have even more appreciation for my teammates who motivate me each and every day. I never realized just how much I needed my teammates until this time.

During lockdown, getting myself out of the house to go on a run seemed like a near impossible task. We had no races lined up in the near future, no idea when we’d start practice again, and I had no teammates to hold me accountable. Getting it done alone was very difficult. However, those times made me appreciate just how special and vital having teammates is for motivation and encouragement. Alongside keeping you motivated and holding you inspired, teammates also make you better than you would be if you were training alone. When training alone, we may feel that we are giving our very best and trying our absolute hardest, but if we have no one to push us then we are ultimately staying within the zone of our perceived “best” effort.

The phrase “Iron Sharpens Iron” is true: in order to get better and exceed your limitations, training with teammates is essential. Running alongside others who share a common goal as you and are willing to do whatever it takes to reach those goals is undoubtedly conducive for growth.
Over the past four years, I have had the opportunity to run alongside the best teammates that I could have asked for. They have helped me grow as a person and a runner, and I know for a fact that I would have never been able to accomplish what I have if I didn’t have them.
Not only have my teammates helped push me in training, but they have also been there for me when I fell short and have helped me get back up when I have fallen down.

I still have one more year of collegiate track and field, but I know that in the future I will never forget the memories and experiences that I have had with my teammates. I will always cherish the bonds that I have built with my teammates and the ways that they have helped me and I have helped them.

And, going forward in life, I know that if I am ever trying to achieve something, that I cannot do it alone, and that the strength of a group of people helping me is significant and indispensable.