Amy O'Donnell, Track Star

Age: 22

Program: Honors Specialization in English Language and Literature and Minor in Psychology

Year: 4

 

How did you get involved with Western’s track and field team?

I have been running track since grade seven and it was definitely something I always wanted to pursue at a varsity level. I had talked to various coaches in my grade twelve year of high school and decided to stay at home and try out for Western!

 

How often do you have practice/ meets?

Throughout the year we practice six times a week and once it gets into competition season we usually have a meet every weekend.

 

What is required of you to be a part of the team?

A good work ethic, commitment, willingness to learn, and a positive attitude. You spend so much time with these people that they become like your family. That being said, you have to be kind, encouraging, and treat them with the respect that they deserve. For the two hours or so of the day, I have to be present and ready to work hard with my teammates because in the end that’s why we are all there: we want to do our best for our team. I have to be ready to pick others up when they are feeling down and always be the helping hand waiting. We are just a big support system for one another who just so happen to enjoy running!

 

 

What valuable skills have you learned in your experience?

The most valuable thing that I have learned is definitely time management. Being a student-athlete obviously has its challenges, as it is a big time commitment. I had to learn how to juggle practice, meets, a part-time job, and school. My coach has always said that being a student comes first and I think I have learned that it is ok to express myself when I am feeling overwhelmed or swamped with school work. I have learned how to push myself not only on the track but in school as well. I am able to say to myself “alright, this needs to get done because you have practice in two hours and a meet this weekend” and follow through with it.

 

What are your plans after you graduate? Do you plan to continue with track and field?

As of now, I am off to teachers’ college in the fall at Althouse, which I am super excited for. As for track and field, I still have eligibility left to run another year but I am undecided as to whether or not I will continue to run at a varsity level.

 

What advice can you give to incoming students who are interested in pursuing track and field with Western?

I would say go for it; you never know until you try. You may even surprise yourself with what you are capable of. It is an amazing experience, something that really adds to the whole “university experience.” Being around a great group of people and being active has such great benefits on your mental and physical health. I would say make the most of it because four years really does fly by.

 

 

Other than track and field, what are your other hobbies?

I enjoy reading (one would hope since I am in English) and singing. When I am at home, I am always singing. I also love going on walks/hikes and just hanging out with my friends.

 

Favourite place to travel?

I have been on a few cruises and I would have to say that is my favourite thing to do. It is nice to wake up at a new destination each morning and go exploring and then hop back on the ship to go somewhere else. I have only been on Caribbean cruises so far, but I would have to say St. Martin or Nassau are the prettiest places I have seen. I am, however, going on an Alaskan cruise this summer so I am looking forward to that. The food is always amazing as well on the ships, so you can’t go wrong.

 

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