Being in a relationship can be hard no matter who you are, but for a student-athlete that area of life can become seemingly impossible.
With the overwhelming schedule and work load, a romantic relationship wouldn’t seem to be a priority that would be easily attainable, but for two track and field athletes it’s what makes their bond so strong.
Seniors Yohana Koko (Alcoa, Tennessee) and Kiana Davis (Ooltewah, Tennessee) have managed to build their relationship through the intense lifestyle that is being a collegiate student-athlete.
“We are both on the track team, and we usually practice around the same time, so sometimes it’s not a lot of date nights,” said Davis. “We are both tired, and we have the same schedule, but I feel like it does help to have a partner that’s in the same sport that you’re doing because you understand so much.”
Koko feels the same way about the couple’s situation.
“I think being in a relationship helps a lot, because I understand the situation,” said Koko. “I get if she’s having a bad day or if stuff isn’t going the right way I understand to give her that space.”
Student athletes have a lot to deal with. Between the training, the practices and the events, they also have to balance academics.
“You learn a lot about yourself being in a sport,” said Davis. “Sometimes it just gets really stressful, and then you both have to figure out how to balance that and somehow bring it together to be there for your partner.”
“Just know what your priorities are, especially when you’re an athlete, because you’re going to have two or three more priorities than someone else,” said Koko.
Traveling on the road is inevitable when playing a sport and could be hard for a relationship. However, for two athletes within the same sport it can be what makes for memories that last.
“Being able to travel with her is great, because I get to experience going to all these schools with my girlfriend,” said Koko. “Track and field is really the reason our relationship is so strong because we see each other suffer at practice, we see our downfalls and our triumphs.”