Athletics has always been something that has been a part of my life. I can remember since I was four kicking a soccer ball in my backyard and breaking windows with a wiffle ball. The countless times of eating dinner in the car because I had to go from a swim meet to soccer practice to a lacrosse game. No matter how hectic my childhood was I would never change it for anything in the world. And I didn’t. I came to Bryant and took on the same lifestyle I had when I was four.
I knew my junior year of high school that I wanted to be able to play both soccer and lacrosse in college and to be a bit pickier, wanted it to be a Division I program. This narrowed down the college application process tremendously, which I am still thankful for, and I ended up applying to three schools. I applied to Wagner, American, and Bryant and at all three had the ability to be able to play two sports. The Division I aspect was a little bit trickier. I can remember visiting Bryant and absolutely loving the campus, but when I first started looking at schools Bryant was Division II.
There is nothing wrong with this status, especially because at the time Bryant was ranked nationally for Division II programs and the women’s team had gone to the tournament or championship game for years. I remember being one of the last girls on my high school soccer team to commit to a college and knew I was getting close to the deadline.
Then I got the news that Bryant would be making a transition into Division I my freshman year. I thought to myself what fantastic timing!! And then was hit with the bomb that we would not be eligible for post season awards my freshman year and that we would not be able to compete in post season tournaments for my entire four year career. This was a little bump in the plan, but in the end I considered all my options and felt that Bryant was the best fit. I thought it would be so cool to say I was a member of the first Division I team at Bryant University.
Playing two sports at school is something that people view as astounding and so tremendously difficult. I would like to take the time now to say that you have it all wrong. Out of season workouts suck, and it is way harder to get up at 5 in the morning than it is at 10 in the morning. Yeah sure two sport athletes have two pre-seasons, but only one of them is when school is not in session. Being a two sport athlete you have just as much training as a person who plays one sport, but double the games which means double the pre-game practices which are considered a walk-through.
I will also now take the time to say how thankful and appreciative I am to have been able to participate in two sports that I love so much. Yeah, two sports definitely hinders the social life with 48 hour rules every weekend until spring week, but the friendships formed and the amount you learn about yourself as a person and what you can withstand is all worth it in the end.
Looking back on my four years as a Bryant athlete I could not imagine what it would be like to not play sports. Every person on this campus has a hobby or something they are a part of that takes time out of their everyday life.
Some of us are in clubs, work jobs, have internships, an overloaded course schedule; some of us have all of these, but in the end we make it work. At Bryant I was able to play both soccer and lacrosse, keep a decent GPA and direct the musical and people always ask how I do it. I want to tell them I have been busy since I was four and learned to love to eat on the run, sleep never, and try and keep a smile on. I can’t really complain; I asked for it.