More than athletes

Track athletes share their personal lives outside of sports

Uriah Aguon, Staff Writer

When not devoting his time to track and school work, Gabriel loves music and enjoys playing guitar in his free time. (Courtesy of Gabriel Endresen)

Start the day with a confident mindset. Get a good breakfast, hydrate and then grind as hard as you can during practice. Put in as much work as you can, because the effort you put in will reflect in the game or meet. If you don’t shoot for a new best in training, you won’t achieve any kind of best on the field, the track or the court.

Athletes train day-in and day-out, but everybody needs time off. What do athletes do with their spare time? 

Freshman Gabriel Endresen runs for Seattle Pacific University men’s cross country and track and field team. With afternoon practices lasting two or three hours every day, morning classes, and at least an hour-and-a-half spent on schoolwork, Endresen can hardly find more than a couple of hours of downtime by the end of the day. 

Most athletes spend a good couple of hours training by themselves outside of practice. Having to meet a weekly mileage set by his coach, Endresen often challenges himself to meet and exceed the number of miles during his training.

“Usually, we have a target mile range, a certain amount of distance coach wants us to run each day. Mine’s 10, so I always try to reach like 50 to 60 miles a week,” Endresen said. 

Outside of running, Endresen harbors a love for music and stores tracks of his work on his phone.

“I’ve been doing music since seventh grade, mostly on my electric bass. Once I’m done with schoolwork, if I’m not streaming anything, I tend to have some free time where I’m usually playing on my bass. I save everything on my phone, but only my roommate hears it,” Endresen said.

What Endresen most happily works on in his spare time is a graphic novel for a character he developed in high school.

“At the start of the pandemic, when most of us were stuck at home, I was struck with inspiration to start my hero series,” Endresen shared.

Endresen’s character is known as the Nighthood, loosely based on DC Comics’ Dick Grayson. Rescued at a young age by billionaire Connor Townley, who was also a secret vigilante, Nighthood soon became a skilled and trusted sidekick and eventually set out on his crusade.

Isaiah finds interest in learning about the human psyche. He believes it’s a good way to discover different aspects about others more in depth, which is why he chose to study Sociology during his time here at SPU. (Courtesy of Isaiah Archer)

Freshman sociology major Isaiah Archer runs with Endresen in cross country and track and field. With a similar schedule, Archer often runs for leisure to meet his weekly mileage. He runs as often as he can, as it remains a hobby he enjoys.

In fashion with most college students, Archer enjoys filling his spare time by binging anime or playing NBA 2K21 on Xbox. Archer’s favorite activity, however, is being able to visit home in Bremerton. Archer is unapologetically a dog person. He estimates half of his time spent visiting home is playing with his dog, Bentley.

“I try to visit my family at least once a month, and I love playing with my dog. We just play fetch. Whenever I like to leave the house, he likes to come with me. Whenever we get fast food, I always give him a little ice cream,” Archer said.

Some students walk into college certain what they want to major in. Other students don’t have the slightest idea until the end of their first quarter. Archer is one of the many who decided to switch majors. At the start of the year, Archer was a criminal justice major, only recently switching to sociology.

“Sociology is kind of like what we learned in criminal justice, but it’s more of a wider spectrum rather than just in terms of criminals,” Archer said. 

Archer’s choice in majors is because of his interest in the human psyche in terms of background influence. He believes in knowing and understanding the person before judging them. 

“I just like talking to people and finding out the why of things. There’s always a bigger story behind why somebody acts this way,” Archer said. “When you see a crime, you’re just disgusted by it, but you don’t really know what happened. You never know what they’ve been through or what drove them to that event.”

College athletes are praised for their physical prowess. They can run, jump, throw and hit with impressive speed and power, but there is always more to a person than that which meets the eye. 

Whether it’s creating music, building a world of fiction, embracing their wild side or just wanting to be more understanding, every athlete has a life outside of sports. The activities they do outside of their athletic career help define their true character.