NOW THAT the academic year is over and you’ve gone home from the Aberystwyth bubble, back to your parents’ cooking and the beer gardens, pubs and clubs of your home towns. The problem arises of how to keep the weight off or to keep your mind fresh of the things that you have learnt as part of your favourite activities at university. This struggle applies to various sports, especially if you started one at university that is not really an option to play at home. Here we give you the perspective of two Aber Lax players who are struggling to keep up without practicing for the game.
University lifestyle offers the opportunity of trying new things, whether they be social activities such as battle re-enactment societies or sports societies. Personally, I took the opportunity to start to play Lacrosse for Aber Lax. Leaving the bubble of Aberystwyth impacts your chances to continue these activities through the summer. This is especially the case if your hobby is so obscure that it does not really exist outside of university and therefore restricts both the sports venues you can use and the opportunities to keep training, which in all sports you can never have enough of. There are only a few ways you can get around these problems of putting on weight, stimulating boredom and forgetting those vital skills that you have acquired.
The first option is attempting to find a gym membership that is inexpensive, with most gyms offering a student rate this can be done for a reasonable amount. However, if this is still too much, then the cheapest solution is regularly going for an early morning run, which allows for a free way to exercise while avoiding the heat of the sun. Alternately, you could try trawling through the depths of the internet for a local club or society (which is difficult to find in some regions of Britain) or finally you could try to take part in a more popular and present sport, such as rugby or football for example. I, myself, have taken up boxing over summer to improve my hand eye co-ordination in the absence of a lacrosse club. This also helps keep my fitness up so when I do go back to my team it won’t be a struggle to keep up with the pace of the game. All in all, a person can only do their best to stay active in the summer, but you really understand and appreciate all that Aberystwyth provides for us in order to explore our hobbies and past times.
I joined Aber Lax at freshers’ because I knew I wanted to try out lacrosse and just fell in love with the sport. I had never played it before university, but I soon got into the routine of attending training as well as matches. We didn’t always win, so when we did manage to get a victory, it made it even better. I didn’t realise how bad it would be after the season ended after Varsity. I didn’t realise how much my motivation to train or even how much my fitness would drop after finishing for summer.
With exams and end of year meals pretty soon after Easter practice doesn’t seem to be as important as it was when you didn’t have deadlines. I admit I hadn’t picked up my stick since Varsity until a few days ago. This is not what is meant to happen. A few hours a week, minimum, is what I should be putting into my stick skills. In theory, this would be easy but now I am home and my nearest non-university club is about two hours away; on top of working full time, where am I supposed to find the time for this? Obviously, lacrosse is something I enjoy, but I don’t have a wall without any windows so ‘wall ball’ is out of the question and no one in my area even knows what lacrosse is. I have resorted to just running as much as I can with a friend from school and trying to get my stick out to practice cradling and throwing it up in the air to work on catching. This is good, but it is not the same as a real practice.
I am now feeling the lax blues. I long to be in a training session or a match. However, I know that training involves the campus mile and I know I will try to avoid that as much as possible. I also know it is always worth it and that I am not alone in this boat. I have come to the conclusion that anything I do will be better than nothing but it is disappointing to join something at university you are so passionate about, only, to find that you can’t actually play with other people when you go home.