Sports Scholarships

Day in the Life of a Student-Athlete Swimmer

LIU swimming

by Kirsty Elliott, Conference Champion, Long Island University.

5:30AM: The alarm goes off, the same alarm you hear every day and you never want to listen to the sounds ever again because it fills you with dread. You walk blinded to the bathroom and absent-mindedly poke around your mouth with a toothbrush.

5:45AM: Walk the longest 5 minutes of the day to the pool, when you arrive you walk into the silent locker room and you are met with blank stares of your still half-asleep teammates.

6:00AM: As you poke your toe into the freezing cold of the pool you suddenly question every internal motive and reason why you are there when you could just as easily be in bed.

6-7:15AM: Every muscle in your body hurts as you drag yourself up and down the 25yds staring at the black line on the bottom of the pool. Your thoughts drift in and out, deciding what to eat for breakfast, last minute cramming for the test you have at 8am and, wait, what was the set I’m doing again?

8AM-12PM: If you messed up your schedule (or maybe you’re just a freshman) classes begin. You put your arm up to your face to lean your head on and realize that even though you showered you will never be able to get rid of the scent of chlorine that now is embedded deep in your skin.

12:30PM: Training room. Time to fix that shoulder problem that’s been niggling away at you. After some quick treatment you do your rehab exercises, praying that each day you do them is a day closer to getting rid of the injury.  Every day you are grateful for the dedicated training room staff whose sole desire is to get you back into shape.

2:00PM: The last class of the afternoon and the struggle to stay awake is so real!

3:30PM: Its practice time and the tiredness of morning practice has really caught up to you. This 2 and a half hours can make or break your day. 200 work and now your legs are really killing but the satisfaction of the times you just put down has carried you through.

6:30PM: Time to get back all the calories you just burned as you head to the cafeteria, constantly thankful for your unlimited meal plan.

7PM-onwards: Study, homework, study, homework…

10:30PM: Finally it’s time to flop back into your bed before repeating the whole process again tomorrow.

So, I made being a swimmer sound like the most miserable life, but there is no way possible to describe the momentous of feeling of joy and elation that comes with winning a conference championship. I have been fortunate enough to be on a conference winning team 2 years in a row now, the first time in this program’s history and all the work, the everyday struggles pay off and all the painful details are forgotten. The feeling when you hit the wall and look up at the board and feel the sense of elation and partly relief knowing that all your hard work paid off and every second was worth it.

Route 1 would like to thank Scottish-born Kirsty for sharing her experiences with us, and continue to wish her the best of luck during the remaining two years of her collegiate career at Long Island University.

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