We all dread it. The one time we get sick. There are multiple thoughts running through our minds when we get sick, some of them including: 1) Well crappppppp, 2) should I even go to practice? I’ll do crappy anyways. 3) OOOOOOOO no practice. Hallelujah. 4) But now I’m going to be soooooooo out of shape. Variations of this, some may include a few curse words, are probably popping in your head. But it is important to remember that everyone gets sick and that it is not the end of the world. Getting sick at any time seems like a hassle and inconvenient timing. If it’s the beginning the season then you’re already out of shape and can’t afford to miss any practice. If it’s during winter break training then you aren’t going to have as much of a base to taper off of. If it’s during championship season you stressed that you won’t be at your best for the meet. There is no time where it is convenient to get sick. However, there are ways to help this not be as big of a deal.
First things first. DO NOT GO TO PRACTICE. It will do you no good to go to practice if you feel really bad. You won’t do well as you aren’t even close to 100%; you’ll overload your immune system more due to the extra germs you are exposed to (we all know people pee in the pool) and because your physically exerting yourself, which will only make you sicker for longer; and you will get everyone else sick. While it may seem tempting, it is not worth getting everyone else sick just so you can say you went to practice even though you did terribly. Your coach would rather you miss two practice than to come, get everyone else sick, and have a week’s worth of bad practices.
It is also a good idea to eat healthier. I know, eating healthy??? I like my pizza too much for that. But it’s a good idea to maybe lay off of that, partially because you aren’t burning as many calories since you’re not practicing and partially because fruits and vegetables are full of good vitamins and minerals that will help your immune system.
Drink some water. Even though you aren’t exercising, you are still losing water and need to rehydrate. It’s just overall a good habit to get into and keeping up good habits will help your immune system.
While it may suck to get sick, there are things you can do to shorten the length of time that you are sick and how badly it affects you. Just remember it happens and that it’s okay and getting frustrated is not going to help. Let’s be real, surprising things happen every day. Just like that Stanford swimmer accidentally miscounting her 200 free on the 800 free relay.