By Joelle Fisher
There comes a time in every athlete’s life when it’s finally time to hang up the jersey for good. Whether it be 14 years or four years of playing the sport, the dreaded experience is never an easy one.
Senior athletes on campus opened up about their experiences with completing the final season of their respective sports.
“I spent four years of my college career giving everything I could to the sport and I’m definitely going to miss it, but for now I’m enjoying the time to myself,” said Amanda Mladenovski (‘18), former women’s soccer player.
“I have closed a chapter in my life that has been there since I can remember, but it’s gratifying knowing I was blessed with the ability to play the sport I love competitively for 10 years,” said former volleyball player Dakota Pelach (‘18).
Every athlete faces different circumstances: some only play for a few years at the collegiate level, whereas others are forced to give up their dreams early because of injuries.
“I love soccer and I love my team, but I physically don’t think I could play another game even if I tried: I know I’m only 21, but my body feels so much older than that,” said Mladenovski.
It is easy to become caught up in the extensive free time that comes with no longer having practices, games, and mandatory lifts. However, it is important to be able to balance continuing a healthy lifestyle with endless episodes of Netflix and freedom.
“I still lift with the team occasionally and go to the rec or do Zumba when I can,” said Kara Muxlow (‘18) who previously played on the volleyball team.
“It’s really nice to be able to work out on my own terms now and incorporate new activities into my routine, but I definitely will miss the structure of the workouts that came with being on a team,” added Muxlow.
“The best way to stay in shape is to find something you love doing,” said Pelach.
Retired athletes are encouraged to speak with John “Fletcher” Roberts, assistant wrestling and strength & conditioning coach, in the new weight room to discuss a post-athletics workout plan.
Fletcher strives to accommodate a variety of student-athletes on campus to ensure that their health and fitness needs are met and maximized.
“I do Crossfit with Fletcher almost every day for 2-3 hours in the weight room working on strength and conditioning.”
“I promise it is a lot more fun that it looks, and it feels really good to stay active in my own way,” said Mladenovski.
Despite the freedom that comes from finishing their athletic careers, athletes mentioned how important it was for underclassmen student-athletes to stay dedicated and goal-oriented.
“In the off season, stick with someone who will push you to be better and work harder,” said Muxlow.
“It makes a big difference in your mentality and it help syou find out strengths about yourself you might not have noticed otherwise,” said Muxlow.
“Have fun with every aspect of your sport, set goals for yourself and never stop working at them because one day you’re going to run out of time and you don’t want to regret anything,” said Mladenovski.