It’s 6:30am on a cold, winter morning. Most people are sleeping at this early hour, for it is still dark and freezing outside. Basketball player and student athlete Mary McKenna, however, is beginning to start her busy day.
Mary, just like any other student, starts her day off with going to school.
“It is super important I eat a filling breakfast before school to give me energy to last me throughout the school day,” McKenna explains. “I also try to eat something pretty healthy to keep my body in shape for the upcoming basketball season.”
Mary is a three-season athlete, playing basketball in the winter, lacrosse in the spring, and running cross country in the fall.
“All of these sports help me stay in shape for the approaching seasons,” McKenna expresses. “Cross country especially helped with preparing me for basketball season, since both sports are very strenuous and involve lots of running.”
After attending all of her morning classes, Mary heads to lunch.
“Once again, I always try to eat healthy,” McKenna tells. “I don’t want to be eating something super heavy that is going to stick in my stomach all day, but I also have to eat something that is going to keep me full and energized for the rest of the afternoon.”
Upon completing the school day, Mary immediately heads to George Washington Middle School for preseason training. A preseason practice usually consists of lots of drills that work on dribbling, shooting, and defensive form. They also include scrimmages and running tests that need to be completed at tryouts.
“These practices are a lot of work,” McKenna mentions. “At first it was really hard to get back into the swing of things, but now my body is almost fully prepared for basketball season.”
After practice Mary finally gets home at 5:30 pm, concluding her 11 hour day full of academics and athletics.
“Playing sports has definitely taught me how to manage my time wisely,” McKenna says. “I cannot be procrastinating when I lose almost 3 hours each evening to playing sports. Once the season starts, practices will be everyday with games throughout the week, so I will have to be even more careful of how I am spending my time, not just after school, but during the school day as well.”
After completing her schoolwork, Mary finishes off her day by going to sleep at 10:30 pm.
“I would love to go to sleep earlier, but with my busy schedule, it is just not possible,” McKenna communicates. “Fortunately, I never go to sleep any later, so I can get a minimum of eight hours to help energize my body for the next action-packed day.”
This routine repeats Monday through Thursday for Mary. She will still often train on Friday through Sunday, always preparing herself for what is to come.
“Sometimes it is really hard to play three sports,” McKenna claims. “However, I love all the athletics I do so much that I could not imagine my life without them.”
This is a really common mentality among athletes at Ridgewood High School. As winter sports begin, we should hopefully see some positive results from the dedication that these athletes bring to their respective sports.
Graphic: Joseph O’Keefe