September as a student-athlete is a busy and exciting month. It’s the start of a new school year and hockey season! After four months of training, we finally get to be back together as a team and welcome the new recruits. For the past few years, a group of veterans from our team have helped out with move-in day. On this day we get to meet and help all our rookies, as well as other students. Queen’s starts classes a little later than most schools, so our first week here we didn’t have any classes but we all arrived by Labour Day weekend. On Labour Day, we had nothing scheduled, so a bunch of us decided to take a road trip to Ottawa and watch our football team battle the Ottawa Gee Gees. A few of our freshman players tagged along and it was a great way to bond while supporting other athletes at Queen’s. Midway through the game it started to rain and many of the spectators left. But like any diehard sport fans, we stayed and had a great time trying to bring some energy to the Queen’s players.
Our first organized team activity this year was an annual tradition, running hills at Fort Henry. This is always a great opportunity to get a good workout in, while focusing on teamwork and supporting each other. This year we did squat jumps, sprinting, side shuffles and finished it off by running up the hill together with linked arms. The remainder of the week, prior to classes, was filled with tryouts, practices, team meetings and more.
This past Monday classes started and I began my 4th year in chemical engineering. That evening, all the athletes on Queen’s varsity and club teams got together for an Athlete BBQ. At the BBQ we were treated to great food, received free t-shirts and participated in a huge game of rock paper scissors where we mingled with other athletes. Wednesday, we had our first section of fitness testing in the gym. Fitness testing can be a stressful time as you try and show how hard you worked over the summer. This year, in an effort to make it a bit more competitive and fun, we were separated into teams where the scores for each test were averaged and the teams would be ranked. It was a great way to add some fun into testing. We have just a few more practices before our first preseason game on Sunday at Concordia!