BY CLAIRISSA MYATT
Being an athlete competing at the collegiate level, it is automatically assumed that ones schedule is busy beyond belief. With logging 20 hours of practice a week, classes, homework, internships and work, it becomes a full time job.
Now, take everything listed above and add one more sport. Sounds crazy right? Two members of the women’s swimming team decided to take on the madness of being a dual sport athlete. Oh, and both sports are currently in season which only means that they are putting in an unheard amount of training hours.
“We are only permitted 20 hours total since both sports are in season. Coach splits it up nicely so that we swim 18.5 hours and run another hour and a half by letting us out of swimming early,” said Rebecca Matthews, graduate student.
While most people decide to compete in sports that they have played their whole lives, both Savannah Maier, sophomore, and Matthews decided to start from scratch and see what cross country was all about.
Both girls being new to running, or as Maier put it, “fish out of water” when it comes to cross country, have identical reasons as to why they started in the first place.
“In France I use to compete in triathlons now and again. I quite enjoyed running even though I never properly trained,” said Matthews.
Maier agreed by saying, “In the future I hope to get into triathlons and by running cross country, it is the first step to getting into them.”
In any sport, teammates quickly become family. When one is eating, sleeping and training together everyday, it becomes inevitable. While both girls have a tight swimming family, Maier said that, “Meeting new teammates who basically become your sisters because of all the training and challenges you go through.” This is the best part of this new adventure to her life.
One of the biggest challenges the girls have faced is learning to race and train on land rather than in the pool. Matthews explained that compared to swimming, running is very straight to the point, so to speak.
There are so many different things to focus on while swimming and in addition, the practices are very different as there are days designated to certain types of training. What one sees is what one gets when it comes to cross-country.
Part of being an athlete is great time management skills. Matthews being a grad student completes the majority of her work during the day being that her classes do not start till the evening.
Meanwhile, Maier finds that organization is key.
“Charts, having a planner and reminders on my phone and schedules in my room help me stay focused on what needs to be accomplished,” said Maier.
While cross-country has proven to be much different than the girls typical pool training, both have enjoyed it immensely and found it beneficial to their swim training.
In addition, it looks like they are here to stay as they both stated they will “most definitely be running next year.”