Winter Back at Home

Winter Back at Home

It’s the end of November, I just finished the rough draft of a 20+ page Spanish research paper, I have a Geographical Information Systems final project to worry about and 3 exams to study for (one being Corporate Finance, which is the hardest class in my major). This can really only mean one thing, Christmas … Read more

It’s the end of November, I just finished the rough draft of a 20+ page Spanish research paper, I have a Geographical Information Systems final project to worry about and 3 exams to study for (one being Corporate Finance, which is the hardest class in my major). This can really only mean one thing, Christmas break is just around the corner, and it couldn’t be any closer. A while back I posted a simple guide to surviving finals week, and will revisit some of my own recommendations in anticipation to returning back home for a good month. Winter and the holidays mean to me a lot of different things, but all I really think about is snow, warm fireplaces, purposely excessive Christmas decorations, tons of cookies, traditional Slovak dinners, pea coats, video games, Christmas music playing around the clock (especially Kenny G, Mariah Carey, Babyface, Colbie Caillat and the Elf soundtrack), old friends, snow football games, Tim Tam Slams, hot cocoa and of course, family.

How to successfully do a Tim Tam Slam:

With my two older brothers soon to be living both in New York City, Christmas back at home this year will be extra special. Also, going back to my hometown of Cedarburg, Wisconsin will be warming because of the winter wonderland it is made out to be. Historic Cedarburg is a beautiful destination any time of the year (I now realize this since I am out of high school), but especially during the winter. It has century old limestone buildings, an old woolen mill, Cedar Creek Winery, unique art galleries, coffee houses and cozy pubs and restaurants, while two historic inns greet cozy travelers. Thousands of lights brighten the main Washington Avenue, which is quite inviting to a stroll throughout the historic district. It’s no joke that Cedarburg was honored by Forbes Magazine as one of the prettiest towns in America in 2011 and as one of the Midwest’s 6 best holiday shopping towns in Midwest Living.

It is also home to countless festivals and lovely events. There’s a tree lighting, Festive Friday Eves with “Christmas in the Country,” an Artists Guild Holiday Art Fair, photos with Santa at his workshop, holiday concerts and the Polar Express among more, which are all capped off by Winter Festival held in mid February. Winter Fest is the highlight of the Cedarburg holidays because of the ice sculpture contest that lines the streets, restaurant specials and tons of activities like “bed races” on Cedar Creek (if it is frozen enough!).

When I fly home on December 15, there will be much anticipation for revisiting with family and friends. It also will be an unfortunate realization that I am soon graduating, and won’t have a whole months worth of winter break to celebrate winter at home in my history city. Once I get through finals, at last, I will have some much needed time for relaxation, especially with the people who are closest to my heart.

Hell Week

Hell Week

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Wrestling is a sport that demands every aspect of athleticism, from pure strength to the most refine technique.  It was the first sport ever, and the purpose of it back in the day was to literally kill your opponent while competing naked in oil. Today there is a different reason why it is popular and for me, it is an addiction. I can’t quit because I need it to function normally, but at the same time, I can get so tired I question myself “Why am I doing this to myself?”

Hell Week is what it sounds like … hell! Football has two-a-days, but our coach went one step further and is doing three-a-days. One practice at a time isn’t bad, but it is the continuous practicing three times a day for five days of the week that will get to you.

This week consist of 6 a.m. cardio/sprinting for about 45 minutes. During this time, the sun isn’t even out yet and you can see the stars, Jupiter and shooting stars. After class and maybe a few naps, we have 4 p.m. practice for two hours in a constant 80 degree wrestling room. This consists of drilling, live wrestling and you guessed it, more sprints, which can easily be added on for people who are late, not wearing their headgear and other various reasons. It’s pretty simple, if everyone does what they are supposed to do and not what they aren’t supposed to do, then no sprints.  That’s never the case, so we run more.

After dinner, there is a little over an hour that I am able to get homework and studying done until an 8 p.m. lift.  These lifts aren’t meant for the weak, they’re meant for the insane. I mean, 3-4 sets of anywhere between 1-20 reps, and why not, let’s just throw in 100 pull ups in the middle of the lift to add a little flavor. By the end of the day, you’re ready to pass out and just enjoy your sweet dreams…until they are disrupted by your alarm telling you to wake up to go run.

This week sounds bad, because it is.  But in the end, you feel like you’ve accomplished something the average athlete would never want to do.  It is obviously a little harder since you have to worry about studying, homework and tests, but that’s just a part of being a student-athlete.

I have respect for all college student-athletes. Everyone puts in their effort because everyone wants to be the best. I still keep hearing from athletes that they think wrestlers are crazy and they could never do it. I always thank them for that compliment (yes, being called crazy is a compliment sometimes) because you have to be a little crazy if you want to be a good wrestler.

Hell Week is an animal that chews on you.  It is an animal that swallows the weak but spits out the strong at the end of the week, and if you are able to withstand it then you are able to withstand any other challenge put in front of you. After just one week, you’re more conditioned, stronger, smarter and you know your physical and mental limits.  And there is a reason why Hell Week is at the end of October … Halloween Work-Out.