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The last word: a day in the life of a student-athlete

The last word: a day in the life of a student-athlete

[photo of Kevin Baillie]
Photo by Ian McAlpine

Kevin Baillie received the Alfie Pierce Trophy in 2014 as Top Male Rookie Athlete of the Year.

Monday morning. 5:30 a.m.

The painful sound of the alarm goes off. Time to walk to the gym. Time to start the week.

Breakfast is warm, but it’s dark and cold outside. Third week of January already. Where has the time gone?

We've just come off a huge home stand against Laurier and Waterloo, beating the fifth-ranked team in the country, but it isn’t the time for complacency.

6:30 a.m.

Workout starts. Still bruised and sore, but as 22- to 26-year-old men, we’ve known this routine for well over a decade now.

8:00 a.m.

Workout’s over, but my hips have been bothering me. Time to get some rehab so this doesn’t turn into a chronic issue during the most important time of the year – playoffs – which are now only a month away.

9:30 a.m.

Classes start for the day. Body can take a break, but the mind, still, cannot.

1:00 p.m.

Time to quickly refuel with some food before heading over to the Memorial Centre for practice. We have a big weekend coming up, and how well you treat your mind and body now will reveal itself five days from now.

1:15 to 5:30 p.m.

Video, meetings, and a grueling practice. The big win is already in the past and forgotten. Time to improve.

6:00 p.m.

Refuel again quickly before it’s time for my last class of the night. Three more hours to go.

9:30 p.m.

Get home. It was a tough day. Time to study and work on a couple of papers. I need a 3.7 this semester if I want a good shot at law school.

12:00 a.m.

Time for bed, to dream about doing it all again.

Goalie Kevin Bailie with the Queen's Gaels hockey team. Photo by Jason Scourse.

This is a real day – Monday Jan. 19, 2015 – from this past season, which is a footnote in the longest, perhaps toughest, most demanding season in CIS men’s hockey.

Adding this routine and schedule to the academic demands at one of Canada’s top universities can make time scarce, but there is one thing we always make sure to have time for: our mental health.

We are of no use to ourselves, our teammates, and more importantly, our current and future families, either academically or athletically, if we don’t look after each other’s most valuable assets – our minds.

As a group of men who pride themselves on being tough, there is one thing we can’t “tape up,” and that’s our mental health. We make it a top priority, and take pride in ensuring everyone is doing all right. And if they aren’t, we make sure that resources are made available to them. We strongly encourage everyone else in the Queen’s community to do so as well.

Regardless of the playing surface or academic program, Queen’s is a community. The best one, in my opinion. Let’s take pride at being the best at another subject: breaking down the stigmas surrounding mental health and illness.

Kevin Bailie is going into his third year of Health Studies at Queen’s. The goaltender for the Queen’s varsity hockey team, in his first year, he was named CIS rookie of the year and also received the Alfie Pierce Trophy. Prior to coming to Queen’s, he played in the OHL for five seasons. Kevin is active in the Mental Health Awareness Committee and Caring Campus project. After finishing his degree, he hopes to go to law school.

[cover of Queen's Alumni Review 2015 Issue 3]