runfreeforever

Live. Love. Run. It's what I do.

the unfortunate reality of a student athlete

It’s crazy how quickly the school year flies by. My school uses a trimester schedule, so we’re almost to our midterms! And I’m scared. I guess I’m a relatively good student. I’m taking three AP classes and advanced math. But it gets hard to fit in time to study for all my classes, and to find time to get extra help from my teachers when I have track practice every day after school. I got a D on my last AP Chemistry test!!!!!:) And that was good for me! I was happy that I got over 50%! What is this life coming to?!?

And as a result, you also might want to know that I, being probably the most popular girl at school and having so many friends and being ever so cool (that was all a lie), spent this past lovely Friday night watching YouTube videos about AP Chemistry. Exciting, right?? I mean, who could resist the beckoning of all the AP Chemistry teachers in the world, just begging you to watch them lecture about acids and bases and titrations and redox reactions and electrolysis and molarity and molality and resonance structures and activation energy and precipitation and solubility and I think you’re probably bored with my recounting of AP chemistry.

Whenever I’m in season (August through October for cross country, then February through May for track) it gets so hard to try to stay on top of all the things I need to get done at home and school and everywhere else and still manage to maintain some sanity. Meets always take so long and it’s too hard to concentrate on any homework at all by the time I get home and I’m so tired. So that crosses out one or two days per week to do homework and piles on more for the rest of my days. Add church, piano lessons, vocal lessons, FCA, volunteering at the animal shelter, Best Buddies, and all the other various activities I do, and I have pretty much no time left for anything. It’s crazy.

I don’t think that teachers at school realize how hard it is to be a crazy busy high school student and how hard it is to fit everything in. And I gotta admit that sometimes I don’t prioritize like I should. I would much rather spend my time running and looking up track stats and rankings than doing my homework. I’d much rather go to track practice than spend any more time with my AP chemistry teacher. I think that student-athletes are choosing the “athlete” part over the “student” part more often than we should be. How do you fix that? I couldn’t tell you. I know that I can’t realistically count on getting a scholarship in college for running. I don’t even know if I’m going to run in college. I can count on getting academic scholarships for college more realistically, though. Running is a huge part of my life, and it probably will continue to be such an important part of me, but it’s likely not going to be my career no matter how much I love it. For all those other student-athletes out there, I know that you love your sport. You’re passionate about it. You’d rather be doing it than doing anything else. But is it really what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life? What if you get hurt and can’t do it anymore? Then what will you do? Education is more reliable and more important, whether any of us like it or not.

What an unfortunate realization.

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My Future

I’m a junior in high school this year, so I’ve started to think about college more and more often. As I think about my future, I’m excited but completely terrified. Who do I want to be, where do I want to go, what do I want to do? I’m not ready for these kinds of decisions yet! How am I, a girl of sixteen years, supposed to try to figure out her life and make life-changing decisions when I can’t even decide what to wear or what to have for lunch most days?? I swear I am one of the most indecisive people in the whole world!

We have to register for classes for senior year next week, and of course I never thought much about it until this week, putting it off to the last minute as always. I know I don’t want to slack off senior year, but I still don’t know where my limits are. I am planning on taking three AP courses, a Human Anatomy and Physiology class at the community college, and then two more “easier” classes. And on top of that, I have cross country, track, out-of-season running, church, potentially show choir, piano lessons, college applications to fill out, my future to worry about, my boyfriend and other friends to hang out with before we graduate, my parents and three little siblings to spend time with before I move out, a job to get to save money for college, volunteer work to look good on resumes and applications, my list never ends. I have an awful tendency to overload myself and keep myself ridiculously busy. Sleep goes on the back burner. I don’t have the time to hang out with the friends I promised to hang out with, I don’t have time for homework, I don’t have time for anything. How am I supposed to find a balance in my crazy life? I hold on too tightly to all the things that consume my entire life, and I don’t know how I could choose anything to leave out. I love doing the things I do, and I don’t want to give anything up.

So as I try to plan my future, look into colleges, and figure out what I want to do with my life, I’m having a tough time thinking rationally and choosing what’s most important to me. I know that I want to go into health/medicine, and I’m thinking about being a physician’s assistant or physical therapist, but that’s subject to change. So the academic aspect of a college is really important to me. I want a school that’s at least medium-sized, because I want options in the friends I make, and I want the wider range of opportunities and options that come along with a larger school. But how big is the right size for me? Do I want to run for my college? Do I have what it takes to handle the stress of being a student-athlete in college? Do I want to go to a private Christian school or do I want to go to a huge state university? Do I want to stay in-state or do I want to graduate and get out of here? I don’t know. I don’t have any answers. I have no idea how to choose a school.

I have so many uncertainties in my life, and I don’t think I’m ready to find an answer to any of them. The future is scary. And it’s creeping closer and closer each and every day. I’ll be a senior before I know it. My high school career will be over in the blink of an eye. I’m not ready for that yet!

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27, 34

That verse came to mind, and in reflection, maybe I need to try to focus more on the here and now. Maybe I need to stop worrying about my future and pray about it rather than giving myself premature wrinkles. Maybe I need to shift my focus from what I can’t control to what I can control, here and now; live my life and enjoy every precious second of it while it lasts. Here I am freaking about my future, and it’s distracting me from making the most of my life right now. That needs to stop! Maybe if I run more, it’ll help relieve some of this stress and worry I’m feeling!

 

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