‘But until you live through it, I think it is hard to put into words’

Hannah Kuper

Editor’s note: This column was submitted to the Texan by a member of the UT community.

My entrance into the athletic world of UT was different than most. I was approached on move-in day my freshman year and was told that I should try out to walk-on to the rowing team. I had never rowed in my life and knew little to nothing about the sport, but I thought it a great way to meet new people. I had heard stories throughout high school about the rigor of college sports, but until you live through it, I think it is hard to put into words just the physical and emotional toll that college sports puts on your body. Waking up at 5:30 a.m. for a total of six days a week while having additional afternoon practices is a difficult process to put your body through. However, this type of lifestyle becomes so natural to you that you eventually find it hard to imagine doing anything else. Rowing pushed my body and mind beyond any preconceived limits I thought I had for myself. It consumed my every thought and action throughout every day and every week. After stopping rowing six months in, I came to understand the pain, joy, disappointment and reward that comes from college sports. I am grateful to have had this experience because it allowed me to understand and respect college athletes that much more. 

Kuper is a political communication sophomore from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She formerly rowed for the UT Division I women’s rowing team.