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It burns like…

Endless conditioning, early mornings and team bonding characterize the infamous winter sports’ “hell week.”

“Hell week is a week to get us back into shape, which means a lot of conditioning and exercising both in and out of the water,” JV Girls Water Polo junior Ariel Lee said. “We run, swim and sink, and it burns like hell.”

Though not all sports have official hell weeks, the preseason grind is shared amongst every winter sport at Northwood. At times, exhausted student athletes even feel as if every week is a hell week.

“We don’t specifically do a hell week,” Varsity Wrestling junior Jack Liu said. “Our coach sometimes has us do more conditioning, running and sprawls than normal to keep us on top of our game.”

In addition to the draining level of activity, most of this vigorous exercise begins before sunrise, with athletes starting practice when it’s still dark outside; it’s safe to say that hell week is a prime example of the dedication and perseverance required of playing sports.

“I couldn’t feel my shoulders for a few days,” Varsity Girls Water Polo senior Serousha Behtash said. “Hell week had me smelling like chlorine and sadness.”

On the plus side, students take this opportunity to grow closer and work on team dynamics. There’s no better way to bring people together than the bond of shared suffering.

“The main thing was to start working together as a team and get to know each other,” Girls Varsity Soccer junior Jennifer Frey said. “One of the days, instead of practicing, we went to brunch at Bruegger’s and talked about our team goals and personal goals, which helped us kick off the preseason to a good start.”