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 All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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Till's Return: The Gorilla Is Back

Liverpool's Darren Till Is Ready To Take Out Everyone

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The #3 ranked fighter in the welterweight division former title challenger Darren Till has recently expressed that he is ready to get into the octagon multiple times this year as he aims to get that top spot in the division. He has said since UFC 228 with the bout between himself and the current UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley he has essentially reassessed the situation. He is ready to capitalize on the lessons he has learned while showing why he is still the biggest challenger in the 170-pound division.

He has called out all names but he has not hesitated to express his interest in getting that rematch with the champion "The Chosen One" Tyron Woodley because he knows and is confident he has the skill to defeat Tyron. The Gorilla is definitely ready to be the Main Event on the London card in March but there is no clear set opponent yet.

Rumors began to spread in the mix martial arts world that Darren Till would be facing Colby Covington but it was not set in stone. Darren would have much more to win if he took on Colby and dismantled him. He would resolidify himself as the #1 Title challenger as Colby would have a lot more to lose. Colby Covington does not seem to be on the best of terms with the UFC as is so it seems like this would be the most appropriate fight to make since Kamaru Usman vs Tyron Woodley was booked for UFC 235 for the belt.

Darren Till is absolutely ready to get back into action but many would like to see him step into the Middleweight division and show what he can do. He does not want any rest and wants to fight 3 times or more in 2019 as it looks to be a promising year. The Gorilla recently received a call out for the London card by #9 ranked welterweight Jorge Masvidal as they both share the same amount of interest in the past but the fight was never booked.

Another huge fight he has interest in is with the "Style Bender" from the middleweight division, top prospect Israel Adesanya which would be absolute madness and would be a huge sell for the business. But in the meantime, he does believe he will stay at welterweight even though the division is in a very weird place right now. He expressed his dislike for Colby but knows the game Colby Covington is trying to play. A fight between Darren Till and the (Former?) Interim Title holder Colby Covington would definitely put a clear understanding to who the next title challenger could be in the division for Tyron Woodley.

The 26-year-old has 17 wins and 1 loss with 1 draw in his mix martial arts career. The last time we saw the #3 ranked "Gorilla" Darren Till was when he took on Tyron Woodley who become the first person to finish and stop Darren giving him his first loss at UFC 228. It is very exciting to see Darren so hungry and eager to get back in the cage. Hopefully, it will be in the Main Event in London.

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