Four Tips on How to Transition from College to Post-Collegiate Training
A very fast introduction on this topic. I was a scrub shot putter in college. I made Division 1 NCAA’s once, medaled at the Big Ten Champs once, placed at the Big Ten 7 times but all in all had a sub-par, booze ridden collegiate career. When I told people I wanted to move to Kamloops, British Columbia to train under Dr. Anatoly Bondarchuk, they looked at me as though I was from Jupiter. I didn’t give a shit. I wanted to be better, I wanted to learn from the greatest ever and I wanted to see what I could accomplish.
Ok...so how did I set that shit up? I spent the summer before moving to Canada doing farm work. I worked for an apple orchard. I was the grunt man, picking apples, spraying apples/peaches/cherries, fixing bullshit, dumping apples by accident, cleaning processing equipment and working on reefer trucks(refrigerator trucks, not the good reefer) and constantly pruning every tree on the farm’s property. I would wake up at 5:45AM, head to work, bust my ass, come home and train and then go to bed early (or drunk depending on the night). I repeated this all summer, saved almost every penny I made (except when I was drinking, I did not handle my drinking problem until I moved to Canada) in preparation for my move to Canada. By the time I left for Canada, I had saved a little over $5,000.
I got into Kamloops in September, found an apartment and found two jobs. I delivered newspapers in the early morning and then worked at a bar at night. My first two and a half months consisted of this:
4:00AM to 6:00AM deliver newspapers
6:00AM to 8:30AM Nap
8:30AM to 9:00AM Crush coffee
9:00AM to 11:30AM Train with Dylan Armstrong, Jesse Roberge and Dr. B
11:30AM to 2:30PM Eat lunch, nap
2:30PM to 3:00PM Get ready to train again
3:00PM to 5:30PM Train
5:30PM to 7:30PM Eat, Nap
8:00PM to 2:45AM Work at the club (four days a week)
3:00AM to 4:00AM Nap in car and wait for newspaper worker to tap on my window when he dropped the papers off
After 2.5 months of this, Dr. B sat me down and told me to quit doing the newspaper work. I had enough money saved up and was working enough at the club to make my financial means meet. His biggest argument was that I moved to Canada to train and my work schedule was impinging upon progress. He was right and I quit delivering newspapers. For the next 7 months my training schedule improved, my results improved, my time management improved and my training environment improved (Rodhe moved in and we crushed shit).
So what the hell did I learn from the transition to college?
- No one gives a shit about you anymore. Get over your entitled self. There isn’t a University covering your costs, there isn’t anyone holding your hand. Grow the f*&k up and realize if you want to achieve your goals you MUST prioritize and handle stress appropriately.
- Save money/be creative. I was fortunate enough that I did not have a cell phone. My land line bill was $15/month and my internet was $35/month. I was able to save cash as much as possible. I shopped at CostCo and bought the best food possible in bulk. I prepared everything I could to save money and still get good nutrition. I soaked my beans overnight to get rid of phytic acid, I made my own sourdough bread and I even volunteered at a local Farm Cooperative to get discounts on organic food. With everyone having cell phones now, USE THE PHONE TO MAKE MONEY!!! If you are good enough and understand social media, you can pimp products and be productive on social media and SAVE MONEY.
- Read, watch and learn. Once I quit working for the newspaper, I read as much as I could about mobility, recovery and nutrition. Once you leave the University setting, the only person that cares and the only person that wants the most success for you is….YOU!!! The responsibility is on YOU!!!!
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself. I remember being in an Indian buffet the day of Thanksgiving (US Thanksgiving) and sitting at a table by myself. I sat in the restaurant thinking about my family back in PA, eating turkey, laughing, playing football, hanging out with each other and having fun. I sat in the restaurant and cried for a good 15 minutes. I couldn’t eat my food. I sat there in tears feeling sorry for myself, missing out on the experience back home. BUT, I remembered something I had learned from my hitch hiking journey. People have tons of regrets. People would kill to take a risk and to experience what I was experiencing and to train with my training partners. I stopped feeling sorry for myself, embraced my situation and busted my ass to take advantage of where I was!!!
Is the post-collegiate life hard? ABSOLUTELY!!! So is freaking life. If you want to accomplish ANYTHING in life, you must figure out how to make things work. Be productive, be proactive, save money and GET OVER YOURSELF!!!