Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Useful lessons I learned as an Alabama athlete

Editor’s Note: Alexis Paine is a member of The University of Alabama’s track and field team and works as a staff reporter for the Crimson White.

For the past four years, I have spent the majority of my days in either a classroom or on the track. I’ve gained experience about trying to bombard an airport with 60 college students at 4 a.m., putting in hard work when it might seem pointless and how to maintain teammate dynamics. A lot of what I learned will be beneficial after I leave The University of Alabama and will follow me through life. I’ve thought of six very important rules that I’ve learned on the track that make life easier and more enjoyable.

1. A little extra work won’t kill you.

It’s really easy to be lazy and do only what is asked of you, but if you’re serious and passionate about something, go for it. An extra ab workout, an extra day on a paper or extra effort at a job will go a long way. It shows that you care and that you want to be better at what you’re doing. Trust me, people take notice.

2. Athletic clothes never lose their funk.

I’m serious about this one. No matter how many times you wash them or how many times you change your detergent, your foul work-out clothes will always stink. So don’t wear them around people you don’t know or want to impress. They will judge you and your body odor.

(See also “Record-breaking vaulter talks progress and team goals”)

3. Listen to those who are more experienced than you.

We all like to think that we know everything there is to know about everything. Let go of your pride and realize that people want to help you. No one knows everything or is the best at everything. Sometimes we need help. Whether it’s a coach telling you to tweak your technique or your professor giving you advice on a paper, take it. Chances are they’re telling you something that will make your life easier. Why not at least give their advice a try?

4. A positive self-outlook goes a long way.

The more you tell yourself you can’t do something, the more likely it is that you won’t. If I run down the runway with a voice in my head saying “you can’t do this,” I’m probably not going to clear that bar. The more you tell yourself you can do something, the better the chance that you will actually do whatever it is you want to do.

5. To maintain order, scare everyone.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t our coach’s intention when he took this job last year, but you know what? He has a whole lot of respect from everyone on the team. When he says he needs to see me in his office, everything I possibly could have done wrong runs through my head faster than Usain Bolt. I’ve learned that it is important to maintain a firm grasp of every situation, but not to abuse authority.

6. Don’t give up.

My first two years on the track team, I didn’t travel. I worked out as hard as I could for two years without it paying off. Then, the right moment came along, and all of that work began to show. Now I have a couple school records and an SEC Championship to my name. So, you never know what might happen. Keep at it even if it doesn’t seem worth it at times. Eventually, you’ll reach your goals.

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