It is residence move in day today at Ryerson and the staff and student volunteers are moving all of our new residence students into their buildings. For the last number of years the athletics department has asked all the varsity athletes to volunteer on move in day to help new students move in. It is about welcoming new members of our community. It is also about developing interest among our new students in the Ryerson Rams and coming out to games to support our athletes in the way that the athletes are supporting them today. So I was there in two capacities…in my job as Vice Provost, Students and as a member of the women’s basketball team.
Let me recap the week. In my last post I shared the team schedule for the week. We had fitness testing on Tuesday and Wednesday…I was only able to attend on Wednesday. Sam, the Strength and Conditioning Coach had us complete another running test called the shuttle test. He had me run half the distance that the players ran with more rest in between each level. I have been trying to run on my own so it was much less scary than the beep test a few weeks ago. I did my best and will not beat myself up based on my result…because next time I will do better.
They also did a bench press test. I have never done a bench press but have been working out with weights with my trainer for some time so I was much more positive about trying this than the running. What I did not expect was that the whole team would gather around each player and cheer them on as they did their test. Sam had set up 5 stations of increasing weight…the first was just the 45 lb. bar, then 55 lbs., 65 lbs., 85 lbs., etc. He asked me if I thought I could do the first level with just the bar. I told him that would be no problem for me but we started there anyway. So I get two reps in and the team who are gathered all around me starts chanting “too light, too light”. They could clearly see this required little effort for me. So we moved to 55 lbs. Two reps and the chants of “too light” started again. My first thought was…”These young women are trying to kill me” but to be honest I probably could have done the required 10 reps without too much struggle. So we moved to the 65 lbs. and I did the 10 reps…the last two were pretty shaky but with the cheering and shouts of encouragement I did not want to disappoint and I just became more determined.
So here is the lesson for me. For anyone who reads this who has been involved in sports this will all seem rather obvious and simplistic. For me…a revelation. I have never been involved in sports and know little of the culture of team sports and what it means to be a teammate in this context. Sports to me always seemed to be about competition, about doing better than others, about beating others and trying to win by ensuring that others lose. But within the team it is very different. There is so much encouragement, words of support and high five-ing for every little accomplishment. I have heard more “good job Heather”, “come on Heather, you’ve got this” than ever before…even though in my head I feel like my efforts are not good enough. But the real lesson is that if I do better than last time it is an accomplishment that deserves celebration, and if it is “not good enough” I just need to work harder and it will get better. These women, who are just doing what they always do, have no idea how they made me feel when I got up off that bench and they were all cheering and giving me high fives and saying “you killed it”. All I can say is I want more of that. We all need more of that…all the time. At work. At home. Good job. You’ve got this. You killed it. Nice work. We all need more of that.
Like I said above, Wednesday was fitness testing with a little running and bench pressing. Since I can’t play I decided I need to spend the time that I am with them doing something that is physically active so that I can experience some of the physical tiredness and soreness that they must feel. So Thursday during scrimmage I rode a spin bike court side…when they took a rest I took a rest.
On Friday we did weight training for about 40 minutes and then during scrimmage I started week two of my “learn to run” program by just running and walking around the outside of the gym while they played. I had the opportunity to meet and chat with a some new recruits that Carly (Women’s Basketball Head Coach) had invited to visit and play with the team. Such a pleasure to meet and watch these immensely talented high school students who are so skilled in this sport.
On Saturday I took some Advil and sat in a recliner watching TV for a good part of the day. Except for a quick trip downtown to watch the season openers for the Rams Soccer teams against U of T, I rested.
Today is move in day at Residence, I did my shift like the team helping students and their parents move their stuff down the line towards the elevator. Tomorrow it starts all over again. Here is the schedule for next week. Come on Heather, you got this!
(Feature photo: “Welcome Home” posted on twitter by Ryerson Sports Media student Alex D’Addese)