I’ve been thinking a lot about teams this week, and what it means to be on one. It all started with an opinion article on the University of Illinois student paper, the Daily Illini. (See here if you’d like to read it) It did a good job of riling the student-athlete community, myself included. I myself wrote a letter to the editor, and many former & current athletes wrote letters and blog posts too. It struck me how tight knit our community is, and the amount of respect we have for what we all go through on a daily basis.
If you’re on the outside looking in, it may seem hard to explain that we get to play our sport, go to school, and life is difficult. Just as every step up in education gets more difficult, sport is the same way. Each year gets harder, more demanding, and you do training sessions/finish homeworks/papers/projects you never thought you’d complete. Balancing student-athlete life ties teams together like nothing I’d ever experienced before.
This week is the B1G championships for swimming, and the last day of the swimming careers for many. It always hard to watch a class move on and graduate, but it’s been hard not being there to get to cheer them on as they finish. Knowing how much these girls have gone through to get where they are, and seeing them grow over four years of college, I feel honored to have gotten to be a part of it all.
So as I move on, and am now a CU Buff, I hope to bring this sense of community with me. I know we’ll probably not be the band of sisters that I had back at Illinois, but that won’t stop me from trying. We have a wonderful group of kids here that all have a passion for triathlon (and hard work); and it is as exciting as ever to be around. My swimming chapter didn’t end my last day competing in an Illini cap, it just evolved and picked up two more sports.
So sorry mum, you’re still going to get those phone calls detailing every bit of a good workout, how awesome a ride was, or how some of my teammates finished a set I didn’t think was possible. Now if you excuse me, it’s time to go ride the freezing roads of Boulder with my fellow Buffs… there’s already a smile on my face just thinking about it!