A day in the life of UWL student-athletes


Gianna Fussell

Photo taken by Gianna Fussell.

Gianna Fussell, Sports Reporter

UWL senior and student-athlete Kathleen Casella’s Wednesdays start at 7:30 a.m. “I wake up at 7:30, and then l walk to lift at 8:30, so I can start lifting by 9:00. Then, I lift from 9:00-10:00 a.m. at a team lift, with some other teammates,” Casella said. At the team lift, the lifting coach provides specific workouts for the sport. Casella is a swimmer for UWL Women’s Swim Team. For swimming, the lifts vary between distance: distance, mid-distance, or sprint.

After lifting, Casella showers and eats her breakfast, usually a bagel and a coffee, in the pool at Mitchell Hall, known as Mitchell Hall Rich Pein Pool. “I stay at the pool after I shower, eat my little breakfast there, do any assignments, and then I have my first class at 11:00 a.m.,” said Casella. Her first class is government contracts and fiscal law from 11:00 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. Casella is a psychology major with minors in legal studies and neuroscience on a pre-law track.

She has a break and goes to the library after her first class. “Every Wednesday I get an iced chai, that’s the routine. It keeps me going,” said Casella. Along with drinking her chai, she also does homework. Her next class, cognitive processes, starts at 12:40 p.m. and goes until 2:05 p.m. She walks home and before her practice starts, she works on more homework or has downtime. For Casella, her Wednesday swim practice starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 6 p.m. She usually participates in the mid-distance freestyle practice that coaches provide. The coaches provide workouts specific to the swimmer and their specialty. “I always like to swim in lane three because that’s my favorite lane to swim in. It’s the best lane to swim in,” Casella said.

Once practice has finished, she goes home and makes herself dinner. She hangs out with her roommates who are also teammates, Ellen Bie and Jacob Brehmer. “Then I go to bed around 10, 10:30 p.m.,” Casella said.

When asked about the hardest part of her day as a student-athlete, Casella said, “Definitely after I’ve finished my two classes and before practice, and practice is the only thing left to do. I’m like, ‘Oh gosh, I would love to just nap or stay at home. But then I have to go and grind and have a good practice.”

Casella said she has boundaries to help her stay on task to manage all of the things she is involved in. “Since I have a few little breaks in my day, like before I go to my first class, after my first class, and after my second class, I try my best to do my work there so that when I come home after practice I try to limit myself to having one task to do so I’m not staying up doing my homework all night.”

Lexi Ashe is another senior on the UWL Women’s Swim Team. She’s a psychology major with a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies. “I get up at about 6:20 a.m., and leave my apartment at 6:40 a.m. on Thursdays,” said Ashe. She then has swim practice from 7:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. “I am in the distance or mid-distance group.” Practice on Thursdays has a 15-minute dryland, where swimmers work on their core strength, and then swimmers get into the water. After practice, she gets ready, “I heat up my breakfast burrito I premake on Sundays, and I get ready for my 9:25 a.m. class, which is human sexuality.” Human sexuality is from 9:25 a.m. until 10:50 a.m. Her next class, empathetic listening, starts immediately at 11:00 a.m. and goes until 12:25 p.m.

Ashe has a break in her day after her first two classes. “It depends on what I’m feeling that day but either I’ll go home and eat some lunch or I will go and lift and do the day three lift for the week,” said Ashe. Along with having specific lifts for the specialty of the swimmer, the lifts are organized into a three-day lifting series.

At 2:15 p.m, Ashe’s third class of the day starts, genes and behavior. That goes until 3:40 p.m. She goes home after her three classes and eats a snack and takes a nap. She studies, makes her dinner, and if all her work is done, she’ll hang out with her roommates. “If I don’t have to get up to go to lift in the morning, I’ll go to bed around 12, 12:30 a.m. If I do have to go to lift I’ll go to bed at about 11:00 p.m.,” said Ashe.

When asked what the hardest part of her day is being a student-athlete, Ashe said, “Probably going to bed on time, because a lot of nights I’m doing homework or I just want to chill out once my day is done. Making sure I get enough hours of sleep is a big struggle, especially with morning practices.”

When asked if being a student-athlete provides a routine, Ashe said, “I’d say it does. It helps a lot more with time management because I have to manage my time so carefully with everything I need to do. It gives me a set schedule, like I need to be here at this time or that time, so I need to be careful with what I do.”