Juggling Two Completely Separate Lives

Juggling Two Completely Separate Lives

Dealing with walking in and out of what sometimes feels like two lives.
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Dartmouth often advertises the “D-plan,” a schedule that gives students the opportunity to customize their own academic calendars and take off at various points throughout the year in order to pursue other life experiences. Many students have conflicting thoughts about the D-plan because while Dartmouth can feel like home, it can also be difficult to maintain relationships and stability when students are always leaving. Every winter term I take a break from my life as a student and step back into my life as a professional ski racer. While I am incredibly grateful for both of these aspects of my life, I sometimes find it difficult to bridge the gap between what seems to feel like two separate worlds.

Every time I leave school in the fall I have mixed emotions. On one hand I am incredibly excited to walk back into my life as an athlete. I love getting to see all of my teammates, spending all day outside in the beautiful mountains, traveling the world, and challenging myself to be better than I was yesterday. On the other hand, I am always so upset leaving school because it’s terrifying to think that while I’m off chasing my dreams on the snow, my life at school will continue on without me. What kinds of fun things are my friends up to? Will they even remember me when I get home? What little, funny things am I missing in their lives?

At the end of the winter I tend to have similar emotions when I walk away from my life as an athlete and step right back into my role as a student. I miss my teammates, having a single focus of being the best athlete I can be, and being physically exhausted instead of mentally burnt out. Not to mention how terrifying it is knowing that all of my competitors only have one life to juggle. Most of my competitors ski all year around, whereas I can only ski when I am not taking classes. I step back into my role as a student, terrified that in the last four months everything has changed, and somehow I always manage to pick up right where I left off. Everything just fits, like puzzle pieces.

I often joke that I have two completely separate lives and in many aspects that’s true. My friends at Dartmouth won’t ever really understand all the components and people that have molded me into the athlete I am. Similarly, my teammates and coaches will never quite understand the work that goes in to being an Ivy League student. What does make my two lives collide is how they have both shaped my character in such drastic ways. I have learned time and time again to work hard, to challenge myself, to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and to stay humble. I have had so many people walk into my life who have inspired me to be a better version of myself. Whether that be mentors, coaches, peers, or professors, I am so incredibly lucky to have people in my life who believe in my dreams and goals more than I believe in them myself. My friends want me to succeed and they want to understand the different components of my life which gives me so much respect for them because of how genuine they all are. Even though we don’t always see each other, I am confident that the people who belong in my life are here to stay. So while it can be difficult to have what sometimes feels like two completely separate lives, I take comfort in knowing that each part of my life has shaped me into the person I am now and has set me up to be successful in the future.

Cover Image Credit: Finn DeBaun

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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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MLB Releases Finalists For Major Awards

Best of the best go head to head one final time.

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This past MLB season revealed the greatest of the sport through extraordinary pitching, hitting, defense, and all-around performance. Players from various teams, positions, and skill level are recognized for grand performance throughout the season. Every year the greats are recognized through awards such as Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year. The MLB has finally released the top three candidates for each of these awards in each league (National and American). Here is an overview of each award and the top three candidates for each.

Cy Young Award

This award is given to the all-around best pitcher from each league. It is given in honor of the great pitcher, Cy Young, who passed away in 1955. Pitching statistics such as strikeouts, innings pitched, and ERA is among the stats that are analyzed in order to determine the winner of this award.

American League Finalists

Corey Kluber- Cleveland Indians

Blake Snell- Tampa Bay Rays

Justin Verlander- Houston Astros

National League Finalists

Jacob DeGrom- New York Mets

Aaron Nola- Philadelphia Phillies

Max Scherzer- Washington Nationals

The winners of these awards will be announced Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Blake Snell seems to be the favorite for the American League over 2017 World Series champion, Justin Verlander. Snell is a stand-out pitcher with an insane ERA of only 1.89. In the National League, Max Scherzer is sitting at the top with an impressive 300 strikeouts on the year.

Rookie of the Year

With a self-explanatory title, the Rookie of the Year award is given to the all-around top performing rookie from each league. Stand out offensive statistics are often the determining factor of the winner of this award, but defensive production, stolen bases, and many other things are taken into consideration.

American League Finalists

Miguel Andujar- New York Yankees

Shohei Ohtani- Los Angeles Angels

Gleyber Torres- New York Yankees

National League Finalists

Ronald Acuna Jr.- Atlanta Braves

Walker Buehler- Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Soto- Washington Nationals

The winner of these awards will be announced Thursday, November 15, 2018. This has been one of the closest race in a while due to the extreme amount of talent these young players have brought to the league this season. Ohtani has been the talk of the American League all season, and Acuna Jr for the National League, but this award could go to any of these incredible athletes.

Manager of the Year

Another pretty self-explanatory title, this award is presented to the overall best manager in each league. Wins, quality of wins, and many other things are taken into consideration when the winner of this award is being decided. Many believe that the World Series winner is a shoo-in for this award, but with the level of talent at manager position these days there is never a sure winner.

National League Finalists

Bud Black- Colorado Rockies

Craig Counsell- Milwaukee Brewers

Brian Snitker- Atlanta Braves

American League Finalists

Kevin Cash- Tampa Bay Rays

Alex Cora- Boston Red Sox

Bob Melvin- Oakland Athletics

The winners of these awards will be announced Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

Alex Cora obviously holds the favorite for the American League Manager of the Year because of his recent World Series victory, but Melvin also brought his team farther than the club has been in years. As for the National League, Snitker led his club out of a four-season dry spell and won the NL East, but Black won the Wild Card shocking the Chicago Cubs.

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