is a way of life for Jennifer Day
THERE SHE GOES:
Day sprints out of the blocks at an outdoor meet. /
Photo by Jessie Nielsen
By Faith Vera
November 25, 2008 | Muscles taught, face down, every
nerve in her body ready to explode, and at the shot
of the gun, no thoughts, just power.
Running ceases to be a hobby when you are an athlete
at the collegiate level. When the track season lasts
from August to May, and requires at least 20 hours of
practice a week it becomes a way of life. Although the
workouts are demanding, and the pain intense, the athletes
come to expect it.
Most athletes come into the program having broken
their high school records, or leading their teams. Hard
work is nothing new for these athletes. This couldn't
be more true for Jennifer Day.
Day attended Layton high school. She took tenth at
state her junior year, and lettered with All-state honors
all four years. The track program at Layton high school
wasn't organized at the time. Day made up all her own
workouts, and when possible she practiced with her main
rivals from other high schools.
Day's high school times caught the attention of
Lifetime products. They were impressed with her hard
work and awarded her with a scholarship. Day also received
a scholarship from Utah State.
"I never thought it would be worth it," Day said, "especially
when I was struggling through practices by myself."
Day's commitment to her sport endured through even
the toughest of times. Day's first year in college she
contracted one of the worst cases of MRSA staph infection
in the U.S., because of this she couldn't train to her
full potential. However, the infection didn't stop her.
She has come back every year, and trained hard. Day
said, every year the athlete gets stronger and more
comfortable, so most get the best
times in their last two years.
"It has been rough getting hurt, but I feel strong,"
Day said "this year is going to be awesome."
Running has to be your obsession, you have to be completely
dedicated to it, said Day. There was a time when Day
stopped running for about six months, but realized it
was so much a part of who she was she couldn't quit.
After sprinting for almost nine years, it is hard to
think about life without running, said Day. However,
Day is staying focused on the years she has left. Day
is a senior at Utah State University. She is studying
for a major in dietetics and a minor in chemistry. Day
is planning to work in South America as an international
dietician when she graduates.