HSE Students’ Sport Experience

Stories about students' sport experience and useful advice how to start doing sport.

HSE Students’ Sport Experience

We all know how useful sport is and how it is important to maintain a good shape. Generally, people think about sport as the best way to lose a couple of extra pounds, and I was not an exception. Sport means just an additional option to the diet for me. However, this topic is not as simple as it seems  at the first glance. Talking with HSE students, I found out a number of benefits as well as pitfalls that were inextricably linked with sports.

In the interviews we discussed different types of sports such as running, swimming, basketball, football, and even ping-pong. The article will concern not only amateur sports but also professional ones so that each of us can get interested and motivated to take up one of them. In addition, here you can find some useful advice as well as a range of resources that will help you master the chosen activity.

Zahar: Sport is a meditation

I don’t know why but the need for running appeared unexpectedly. I felt this desire  before exams when I was reluctant to study numerous materials. So, for a change of scenery I just decided to go out and jog for a few kilometers. I didn’t realize at that time why I had made such a decision, but now I think that it was one of intuitive ways to cope with stress. Running is like emotional release. Life gets boring without physical exercise.

So, that was the beginning. Then I started running more and more. Having run 3 kilometers I thought that I could do even more. From that moment the distance was longer and longer every time I went for a run. One day I tried to cover 21 kilometers in one day but I didn’t realize what possible consequences it might have. I felt horrible because my body wasn’t ready for such an intensive physical activity. Actually, nobody can do that in one day without proper training. Because of this unhappy occasion I gave up running for about a year. In 2019 I started running again but by that time I had had quite  good experience, which taught me to avoid common mistakes of a beginner. Still, I sometimes feel badly after training but it is a temporary condition. Regarding the changes in my general state of health, on the whole, I haven’t noticed any significant ones, either positive or negative. I’ve just become fitter. I could have improved my fitness and my general state of health even at a higher level but I think I lacked systematic approach in exercising.

Speaking about special equipment, at the beginning I thought that l didn't need any. However, it is true only for a short distance. Long distance running requires good sneakers, which are certainly not cheap. By the way, I can recommend a good shop called ‘Sport marathon’, where experts can help you find the best footwear  according to your running techniques. They shoot a video and analyse the type of sneakers which can fit you most. In my case it worked perfectly. Now I am taking part in oficial city and regional marathons. Why? Just to get my first remarkable achievement. Every beginner dreams to take part in such a competition and so do I.

Sport is a meditation.

As for my feelings during the marathon, the first kilometers are the most difficult ones. It's because you can’t catch a rhythm of running and breathe correctly. It all changes only after the fourth kilometer when you start feeling easiness and get a great pleasure from the movements. In such moments I feel as if I could run forever covering miles and miles ahead. It is like a feeling of euphoria. It seems you could even fly over the earth. That is why running for me is also a way of meditation and reconsideration at the same time.

How to start running?

Exercising well before running shouldn't be underestimated. There is a wide range of different sets of training exercises. It was my mistake to ignore warming up before a marathon. It resulted in bad feelings after running because my body was not ready for such overloading work.

In addition, if you want to run professionally it is important to start doing this sport with a coach. If you don’t, It will be а catastrophe. You might get injured and that's why you become an unfortunate runner, which will make you give up sport. There is a wrong belief that running will never lead to injuries. Yes, it can. First, your knees can start hurting. Then, your bones and joints can be exposed to inflammatory processes.

Resources:  I can recommend the «Maraphonets» magazine. It has got a lot of cool articles about running which I found quite useful. For example, I learnt how to prepare systematically for a marathon. I also discovered the best diet to follow before running. Another important thing is about how much you should drink before, during and after the marathon. So, all in all,  I have got solid theoretical preparation.

Stepan: Sport has endless opportunities in the future

I started doing sports when I was 3 years old but it wasn’t actually my decision. My parents were eager to grow a sporty child. Well, I tried a lot of types of sports. I did gymnastics for 3 years. Then I took up swimming because I had been looking up to my sister who swam like a fish, and  I practiced swimming for about 8 years. Also, I played football at the same time, which later became my favourite,  but after 11 years of practising  I gave it up and got interested in basketball. I realized that basketball is one of the best types of sports for your personal development because there are less negative emotions comparing with other sports. Football is quite an aggressive kind of sport as the  atmosphere during the game is often tense. Teams feel “sport anger” against each other. Football is a provocative game and people  often forget that it is only a game. 

Now about varieties. Football and basketball are absolutely team sports so you can be the best player ever but you never win if your team is weak while sports such as  ping pong, tennis and swimming are sports where you can control the situation.

When I moved to Moscow and entered the HSE university, I had to stop doing sports. I just got tired. When you do sports professionally, most trainings are dull routines, so there is no great pleasure. You can enjoy yourself only during the game or a competition. Moreover, it doesn't give any satisfaction if you don’t win. Nevertheless, it is worth it. I adore a feeling of satisfaction and light tiredness after training hard. Of course, I could have got in a university team to continue doing sports but there were some difficulties. So, now I play only on streets and only in the summer.

Sport affects my life a lot. On the one hand, it makes me stronger both physically and mentally. I feel that I am becoming healthier. Also, it teaches me to follow my lifelines and revive anything I started before. Talking about  individual sports, it develops my stress tolerance and ability to perform in public. Furthermore, it teaches me to be responsible as there is nobody to shift responsibility to. Regarding team sports, they improve my soft skills because it is extremely important to trust your teammates, understand them and forgive their mistakes. On the other hand, doing sports on a professional level inevitably leads to injuries and it is highly likely that you will have a backache and problems with your knees in your 20s.

Sport has endless opportunities in the future.

If you want to do sport professionally being a student I would recommend starting from the very beginning: get in a children team. This step will help you to learn basic skills that are essential for the future development. There is a common opinion that the  only way to become a successful sportsman is to do sports from childhood, but this is just a myth. Your success depends on how sporty you are in general, and it also on your willingness. There are a lot of examples of professional football players who have started playing football in their late teens. So, I suppose there nothing  impossible.

Resources: when I got obsessed with a thought of playing  basketball I watched youtube channels to find out useful exercises and an optimal training time. 

How to do sports in HSE?

Students also tell us about facilities that are available in HSE to do sports. They are, of course, gyms in dormitories that are open for all HSE students and  lecturers. Furthermore, there are also 3 gyms that are located in the campuses “Dubki”, “Pokrovka” and “B.Trekhsvetitelskiy”. To attend HSE gyms it is necessary to have a medical certificate that would approve your good health condition.

In conclusion, I’d like to say that each person does sports in their own way. For some of them sport has become a meditation while others are sure that sport is an opportunity for personal growth. Presenting  the diversity of attitudes towards sports, we hope that this article makes sports even more interesting and closer for HSE students.

Ekaterina Baranova