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FROM THE BLOG: Lizzie Welborn // Training & High School Balance ⚖️
FOR ALL THE GIRLS ENTERING YEAR 12 NEXT TERM
When I was in school, it felt like people had to choose between being focused on sport or focused on getting good grades. It was black and white with no in between. I also feel like a lot of young people feel this way when they start to move into their final years of school. Teachers start warning you of the pressures of year 11 and 12 and how time consuming they are. Fitting in full time training can sometimes seem impossible in these situations.
A common question I got asked a lot when I was going through year 11 and 12 was; when are you going to cut back on your training? My answer was: “I’m not going to”. I wanted to do well in school, and I wanted to keep on achieving my athletic goals in surf ironwoman racing. It is possible to achieve both. In year 12 I competed in my first ever Nutrigrain Ironwoman Series and travelled to the Netherlands to compete for Australia in the Youth World Championships. I also managed to graduate year 12 with marks that placed me in the top 5% of NSW graduates.
This required both full time training and full time study. The most interesting thing was that doing both at the same time didn’t make one harder, I found that they both went hand it hand. Training gave me time to step back away from study and clear my mind. Starting the morning with swimming would allow me to get to school energized and ready to learn. Going to the beach after school gave my brain a break from all the workload and I could let go and re-organize my thoughts. When I would get home after training in the afternoon, I would only have an hour or two before I had to go to bed for swimming in the morning. However, because I cleared my mind I knew exactly what I needed to get done and was motivated to finish it in the time that I had. I was very good at avoiding procrastination because of this. On the other hand, study distracted me from my nerves leading into a major competition.
Don’t get me wrong, this balance was very time consuming and tiring. There were a lot of times where I didn’t think I would be able to manage it. I was lucky enough to have amazing family support during this time. I definitely would not have been able to get through it without them there to make the path a bit smoother and pick me up when I was down. However, my passion to achieve in both areas is the main driver that got me through.
Even if you are not training for a specific athletic event during your final years of school, finding a way to fit in some exercise every day can be so beneficial. I don’t think I would have got good grades in year 12 if I had not been training at the same time. High school does not have to be an excuse to give up on sport if you don’t want it to. Let it be an opportunity to see how much you can achieve in one year. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
- by Lizzie Welborn.