My Experience as a Varsity Athlete

My Experience as a Varsity Athlete

Alana Neil

August 13th, 2018


A little bit about me: My life has always been focused around the sports that I was playing or participating in. I ran with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Track and Field. Unfortunately, I had to dismiss myself from competing due to the diagnosis of my mental illness. Not only did I have to stop running, I also had to drop out of my classes in order to get back to a healthy mental state. With the support of those around me and some determination, I finally am back to physical activity. My career plans have changed, but my love for fitness has not.

Life happens, as do set backs. In no way does take away from my experience as part of the varsity team at the University of Saskatchewan. Being part of a varsity team taught me a lot about dedication to the sport, determination within one’s self and respect for coaches, teammates and the world of athletics. When it comes to ‘team sports’, track is likely not one at the forefront of your mind. Even though each runner runs individually, we are a track team and have the same values and support as a football or volleyball team. The incredible vibe and encouraging atmosphere is such an amazing feeling. With the cheering and encouragement, I run faster, I feel stronger and I excel to my full potential. We are a mini family. There is so much time and effort put in everyday with eachother that everyone takes part in everyone’s growth and accomplishments. This spirit causes a chain reaction of positivity and motivation.

That being said, there is more to competing than just the sport. Nutrition is a large part of performance as well. The varsity teams’ nutritionists give very detailed nutrition plans for individual athletes related to their sport. These nutrition plans help with performance, recovery and lean muscle mass. Personally, the nutrition seminars were very beneficial to me during my time on the track team. I have been able to implement what I learnt into my everyday life.

It was always smiles around the track, indoors and outdoors before, during and after the workouts! My experience with the U of S Huskies Track and Field team has helped me focus on nutrition for my daily activities and the importance of encouraging others. A little goes a long way within sports and nutrition and my life has forever changed. I hope to one day return to the track but for right now I’m maintaining my mental and physical health and I’ve never been happier.


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