It did not matter if I was a freshman or senior, the first day of preseason was the most stressful and anxiety inducing day of the year. It revolved around mandatory meetings, physical examinations performed by the sports medicine staff, and ended with the dreadful, horrible, beyond nerve-racking fitness test on the track.
It was my sophomore year, though. With a year of experience under my belt, I should have been more confident, used to the routine, and understanding of expectations. It did not matter. I was trembling in anticipation, shaking in hysteria, and feeling more jittery than if I were to have consumed 8 cups of Starbucks coffee. All while feeling this inside, I strived to appear confident and excited – the way a high level athlete should look.
It was my turn to enter the weight room to complete my physical. Being directed to the scale first, I stepped on it, and I heard her mumble 120 pounds as she jotted it down. It was not an alarming number. In fact, it was probably acknowledged initially as a positive loss, rather than a flagged concern. My last weigh-in three months prior was 125 pounds. For a 5’1″ tall athlete, I had come into preseason noticeably leaner and more fit, which was exactly the goal. My coaches will see the amount of time and effort I committed to this program.
When I had been living at home for the summer, I had meals with my family, and a fairly structured and monotonous diet. It became routine and it was effective. Not by my weight, but as I continued to show improvements in my daily timed workouts.
With a combination of my summer regimen, and my difficult adjustment to a different environment, my body quickly revealed weight loss. When I moved back up to East Lansing to report for preseason, my dietary restrictions became more strict and limiting. I had a healthy, consistent routine over the summer, but the stress of preseason and having to prove my value to the program all contributed to my very quick downfall.
I came home from day four of preseason after the final session of the day, and took a long, cold, refreshing shower. Upon exiting the bathroom, I looked in the mirror, flexed my stomach, and wasn’t able to grab an ounce of anything. I swear that the weight had just washed off of me. So, I stepped on the scale and it read 114 pounds. Six pounds lost in 4 days?