When is comes to sports, the ball is in your court for self esteem


Above, Sophomore Marlena Shoemaker is in the middle of a weight lifting routine. “Exercise releases endorphins which makes you happier. Also I feel like when you are working on your body it just makes you feel better about yourself,” said Shoemaker. Photo Courtesy of Marlena Shoemaker

Katherine Lundquist, Staff Writer

It’s well established that being active and exercising releases endorphins that make students feel better, but being active can also help students feel more comfortable with their bodies.

“When you are working on yourself and your body it just makes you feel better about yourself,” said sophomore bodybuilder Marlena Shoemaker. “It makes you have a more positive body image and clears your mind.” Shoemaker competes in bodybuilding competitions and the preparations for the competitions are twelve weeks long. “It is an extreme level and when you are doing that a lot of the time you want to quit.”

“I don’t think there is anything that takes more discipline then doing [reps] because a lot of the time it really sucks,” said Shoemaker. “You are super tired, but when you place it’s a huge relief…you know why it was worth it.”

Sports have also helped wrestler and football player Tre Thompson, “I have gotten really comfortable being in my body and being around other people because you are in your underwear with a bunch of other guys in their underwear.”

Soccer player and track runner Claire Jensen first started playing sports to hang out with friends and have fun. “Now I think more about if I am fit, if I am healthy, and if I am active. And if I am not I try to work towards that and sports help me do that,” said Jensen.

“Especially in the beginning when you do a lot of training it makes me feel healthy and more fit…if I exercise a lot I am a lot happier,” continued Jensen. “It occupies my time in a good way so that I can focus on [feeling better].”
Eating healthy affects body security too. “I think it is super important to eat healthy…filling your body with stuff that will actually do something for you,” said Shoemaker.

Being active “helps your body image because there are more things you can do. You can play soccer, you can snowboard and you are able to do that and you can call yourself good at it,” said Jensen.

“I think they can help and hurt when you win at something it feels really good and your self confidence is boosted and you can take on the world,” said Thompson. “Then on the other hand when you lose it hurts, but it also motivates you to win next time.”

Losing can also take a toll on self confidence, but it also is a big motivator to do better. “Losing makes you more motivated to win and when you do win it feels a lot better knowing that you have overcome failure,” said football player and track runner Hans Christopherson.

“I see [losing] more as a reality check and I know that I can do better than this,” said Shoemaker. “A lot of people do get discouraged when they place lower but I have always taken it as constructive criticism and take that feedback and go from there.”

When it is routine to work out and play sports and you suddenly stop because of illness or during an offseason it can also take a toll of your body. “I don’t feel as healthy [when I’m in off-season] and I can feel the difference when I am not in shape vs. when I am,” said Thompson.

“In the off season during the winter I don’t feel as good about myself because I am not really doing anything,” said Jensen. “It is something to do and it also keeps me healthy.”

Excersise’s effect on your self image can be great. It is one of the many draws to participating in regular physical activity. Participating in these activities releases endorphins which make you a happier person. For many, physical activity causes a feeling of empowerment.