The struggle is real: Life of an athlete

Sara Isakovic, who won the 200 yard fly in Saturday's meet against No. 24 Arizona State, was one of eight athletes to be honored for Senior Day.
Andrew Kuo/File
Sara Isakovic, who won the 200 yard fly in Saturday's meet against No. 24 Arizona State, was one of eight athletes to be honored for Senior Day.

Regardless of the sport you play and how much you love it, there are parts of being a competitive athlete that can really suck. Most obviously, the time commitments are not ideal. Not to forget, the impact on your body can be even less fun.

From the first injury you sustain in your sport (because, let’s face it, you’re going to get injured), your body starts to feel 20 years older. Whether it’s twisting your ankle after a block in volleyball, getting shin splints from cross country or losing a toenail to your tight soccer cleats, you go through a lot to win games. Even if you don’t have one specific injury that sets off that decrepit feeling, eventually the strain on your body from repetitive motions can wear down on your youthful strength.

That being said, you’re also in amazing shape because 90 percent of your life is spent working out. The constant training also means you can eat a lot of food to fuel the machines that are your muscles. Looking good and eating food aren’t so bad, are they?

Well, let’s look at the bigger picture.

When the practices and weight trainings leave you with little to no time for homework, sleep and social events, they start to be less appealing. Not only that, but sometimes friends who aren’t as athletically inclined don’t understand why you can’t ever miss a workout. Your sport is a job, and if you don’t show up physically and mentally, you’ll get fired.

That consistency and dedication you put forward does have some payoffs, though. For one, you know how to shake things off because you constantly have to do so in practice and games. Not only does that help you move forward during a match, quarter, half, etc., it also helps you move forward in life.

Additionally, you know how to work in a team, manage your time and take criticism. All of those skills come across simply by saying you are or were an athlete. Employers understand all the dedication that it takes to be involved in a sport, giving you a leg up over some other nonathletic applicants.

There are pros and cons to playing sports. Just remember though, when the going gets tough, you can think of all the valuable skills you’ve learned — and how good your butt looks in spandex!

Contact Hailey Johnson at [email protected].

Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comment policy