The Truth Behind Elite Athletes

The Truth Behind Elite Athletes

Winning isn't everything
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With the Olympics coming to a close, it’s hard for me not to think about how the athletes are feeling now that it’s time to come home. I recently read this article which talks about life for athletes once the games are over and the challenge of building a new identity after athletes have finished competing. Immediately following my return to school after competing in the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, I vividly remember one of my high school teachers talking to me about my experiences and asking me how I felt about “having peaked before leaving high school.” I know she didn’t mean any harm, but to be honest at the time this comment was kind of a slap in the face. I had just gotten into Dartmouth; I was ready for the next chapter of my life to be just as exciting as the past one.

Prepping for the Olympic or Paralympic games is a long, uphill battle and it’s incredibly easy to become hyper focused. Once the games are finished, it’s understandable that many athletes find it challenging to create an identity for themselves that doesn’t center around their athletic careers. Luckily for me, starting school at Dartmouth just months after competing in my first Paralympics forced me to build my identity around things other than skiing. In some ways this realization was actually a little refreshing. For the first time in my life, my peers knew me because of the classes I was taking, the extracurricular activities I was involved in, and probably because I’m the only legally blind student at Dartmouth if we are being really honest, instead of the skier who always seemed to miss school.

When I decided I wanted to continue competing shortly after coming to Dartmouth it forced me to reestablish myself as an elite athlete while still carefully balancing my life as a full time Dartmouth student. I often feel like I am living two completely separate lives and I find myself having to choose between one or the other. I chose to come to Dartmouth because I felt as though the D-plan, where students can take off from school at various points throughout the year, would be a great opportunity to allow me to commit 100% to skiing over the winter and 100% to school the rest of the time. Every athlete knows that there is always more work to be done, and unfortunately every Ivy League premed student also knows the same. When is it appropriate to spend the extra hour in the gym instead of studying for my organic chemistry final? It is impossible to prioritize one of my two completely separate lives over the other.

Like any athlete, the ultimate goal is to be the best in the world. Every day I try to do everything I possibly can to make that a realistic goal. However, I also know that I cannot ski race forever. Sometimes I find it disappointing that I can’t fully commit to my ski career like most of the athletes I am competing against, and I have to remind myself of the bigger picture. It’s easy to get caught up in that one big moment, and blame yourself for things that might have gone differently. For me, my first Paralympics made me realize that skiing is so much more than the medals I win. In athletics, competition tends to be presented as a single destination. It is very easy to forget that what's truly important are the obstacles that lead up to that destination, and how those experiences play a role in shaping an athlete's character. Skiing has shaped my character in ways that are reflected in all aspects of my life. I have learned to be independent, manage my time well, forgive myself when I fall short of my own expectations, and above all strive to be better than I was yesterday.

It is so important for athletes to enjoy their moment and to take in everything that competing at an elite level has to offer. However, it is arguably more important for athletes to understand that those moments are fleeting. Win or lose, medals are forgotten but acting honorably at times when it would be easy to get caught in the hyper-competitive nature that every world class athlete shares is what really separates respectable athletes from respectable people. Every athlete is a person first. There are core character traits that come along with being an elite athlete and those traits are evident in all aspects of an athlete’s life, even after they are done competing. Character is a culmination of all of someone's life experiences both on and off the playing field. When I compete in the next Paralympics in 2018 I will not be the exact same me who competed in the 2014 Paralympic Games, but I will be the best me that I can be in that given moment. And as for peaking, I’m usually pretty comfortable hurling myself downhill, but for some reason I kind of feel like it’s only up from here.

Cover Image Credit: Finn DeBaun

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7 Lies From F*ckboys That We've All Fallen For At Least Once

They might've had you goin' for a hot second, but you know better now.
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There’s no use in even frontin’; we’ve all been there. You know he’s a f*ckboy from the beginning, but you’re interested in pursuing him anyway. Ain't no thang; I fully support you.

You tell yourself you won’t fall for his games or lies because you’ve been through it all so many times before. Yet, time and time again, you find yourself slippin’ for a hot second, wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt until he inevitably disappoints you. Here are the top seven lies you’ve heard from f*ckboys that get you heated every time.

1. You’re the only girl I’m talking to/sleeping with


HAHAHA. OK, first, I don't actually care what (or who) you're doing in your spare time because you're definitely not the only guy I'm seeing either. I'm just asking so I know you're clean, OK? I don't need more stress in my life.

2. I know how to treat girls right

Isn't it super ironic how the WORST f*ckboys are the ones to toss this line?

3. I’ll text you

This statement is so unbelievable that on the off chance that they do actually text you, you basically fall out of your chair in shock.

4. I’m gonna give it to you good

I cry/cringe/die of laughter every time I hear this one because it's always the mediocre ones that throw this line. None of my most memorable hookups have ever said this because their actions clearly speak for them. Mediocre boys, TAKE NOTE.

5. Damn, I wanted to see you though

Well, you were supposed to, but then you clearly had other plans in mind. So the desire wasn’t all that intense, obviously.

6. Yeah, she and I broke up

CLASSIC LIE. CLASSIC. Sure, I believed it the first couple of times, but don’t even try that sh*t with me after I see she’s still blowin’ up your line.

7. *No response for hours after making plans* Damn, sorry I fell asleep


Honestly, how many times are you gonna throw that line when you’re literally viewable on Snap Map. BOY, I see you at someone else’s house. Stop frontin’, there’s no point.


Again, don't ask me why we put up with this sh*t because the mystery remains. I guess in our own sick, twisted ways, we crave the dramatics and thrills that come from their f*ckery. Whatever the reason, though, at least we've got some ~fun~ stories to tell.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube | I'm Shmacked

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“All-inclusive” Sports Do More Harm Than Good

The real world requires skill sets and diligence, not a degree in complaining about “fairness.”
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Our school years have an enormous impact on the way we grow as we get older. Who we turn out to be depends greatly (although not entirely) on how we are brought up and what we experience between the ages of 4 and 18. Without realizing it everything we face affects our futures; getting us ready to thrive on our own. One of the most significant things we experience growing is the possibility of failure and the need to improve. High school sports and interactive clubs are coincidentally the primary source of experience for this necessary life lesson.

High school extracurriculars such as clubs and club sports are all-inclusive, a way to enjoy a hobby without being “cut” and to experience and delve into different ideas. Clubs are important in that they help shape our values and thought processes without the “tough love” aspect but instead as an equal group of members.

High school sports and teams are not the same thing nor should they be. Most high school sports involve tryouts and result in some participants to get cut from consideration, or in some cases are placed between “A” and “B” teams based on talent and ability. High school sports in this way teach us the necessity to improve and the need to exceed, traits imperative to success in careers in the real world. Sports that have room for a certain number of teammates cause players and athletes to have to show their worth, prove their strength and exercise dedication. Not taking a team sport seriously and lacking to show any steadfast traits ultimately results in failure to make the team. This should show athletes that wanting something does not get you anywhere, rather working for it and putting the effort in is what will get you there. The failure to make a team and the threat of less playing time as a consequence for deficient effort makes a determined individual work harder and focus on improving the skills necessary to succeed.

The real world requires effort and determination. To succeed and excel in careers you need to work hard, prove your worth and exemplify strength and diligence in your field. You will not get anywhere without hard work and constantly improving your skills and abilities. Success in reality is like success on a team sport: if you show little desire and hardly any rigor you will not get anywhere nor will you climb further in success in your career. Knowing how to fix what you do wrong or are not excellent in, not whining and complaining about the basis for success “not being fair” is how you will get places in life, whether in sports or in careers.

High school teams becoming “all-inclusive” is more harmful than it is good to society. To eliminate the expectations of a team sport, to not require hard work and effort and a skill set is to teach teens laziness and to expect what you want instead of working for it. Giving in to every single participant does not reflect the necessary prerequisites for success in the workforce. High school sports have more importance to our development than just exercise and athleticism. Allowing every participant to be on a team or get a trophy fails to mold students into successful, driven adults. If you do not want to face being cut from a team or not playing as much, join a club sport instead of a team sport.

The real world requires improvement for us to be successful. Participation trophies and “all-inclusive” sports teams teach us otherwise.

Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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