In my opinion, the most important factor for a student-Athlete to be successful is diet and good eating habits. The fact that they train and go to school every day, all week, all year causes them feel two or three times more tired than a normal student. Athletes are always running on 3000 revolution a minute every day trying to recover muscle, finish projects, homework, resting, going to the training room in case of injury, preparing food, getting ready for trips, losing weight, and more. Diet is essential!! Good eating habits will provide enough energy and vitamins to do all the activities that a student-athlete has to get done every day. A bad diet based on fast food or a lack of nutrients is totally destructive not only for your sport but also for the most important factor that keeps you here – your career as student.
A bad diet would cause you poor muscle recovery after training, poor attention in class, and can make you feel more tired than normal. If an athlete is not eating the correct food his/her body is never going to recover to keep up with the high-speed lifestyle student-athletes live in.
Breaks, holidays, and time off is a two-edged sword for Student-Athletes. Holidays and breaks are something I personally love because it’s when we take a huge breathe of fresh air into our bodies and we can go back home for more than a few days to visit our family and friends. The thing is that we are not only students, we are also representing Embry-Riddle in athletics and breaks are the perfect moment to get out of shape. This certainly happened to me over the summer when I went back home. Everything was perfect – I saw family and friends and relaxed a little. But, I knew that if I wanted to come back in good shape for the next season I had to keep running a minimum of three times a week and do some other exercises. The first week I did what I had to do, I was very motivated, but after some weeks I got lazy and I stopped training. I was at home, no school, no tournaments, and of course good food, basically no stress at all. After summer break, the time to come back arrived and when I got back to the normal training I was totally devastated. My body wasn’t ready for that level of training. I had three very hard weeks to get used to the intense training again. I was sore, exhausted, and I got a knee injury. Right then I made a promise to myself I will never do that again, ever!! Now even if I am on a break I will keep moving, exercising, running, and preparing myself for whatever new challenge is coming!
Being a Student-Athlete is often, actually, never easy. I have had times in my life when I was so tired – tired to a level that I cannot sleep, tired to a level that I got sick, tired to a level that the only thing I wanted was to give up. In those moments, sometimes I think “Why I am here? Why am I doing this to myself? Why?!! This does not make any sense! I would rather be sleeping until 9 AM, only going to school and not dealing with physical pain. Instead I have 5:00 AM training in winter, then school, then afternoon training, then homework and today is just Wednesday! Not even half the week is gone and the worst thing is I have to do laundry because I don’t have any clean sock for tomorrow!” Yes, I can get overwhelmed. Once that has passed, I remember that I want to be successful, that I want to be the best, that I want to be a great person for society, and then I remember that every single drop of sweat, every 5 AM training, every single second in the wrestling room and the classroom are totally worth it.
Keep It Up and Never Give Up!!!