NU athletes stayed active, healthy over Thanksgiving break

For many, Thanksgiving Break is a time to enjoy the season, family friends and food. However for several student-athletes at Norwich University, staying in shape and being active and healthy is a key goal over the week-long break.

Mehgan McMullen, 20, a sophomore with a double-major in biology and education from Northfield, Vt., stayed active by participating in women’s league basketball games, and made healthy snack choices during her break.
“We had a ton of vegetable and salad options, like carrots, corn, and salad with cucumbers. We also had broccoli, cauliflower, and celery,” said McMullen, who celebrated her Thanksgiving on multiple nights in both Vermont, and New York.
Zachary Tarvit, 20, a member of the varsity football team and sophomore criminal justice major from Bellows Falls, Vt, said he ate healthy fruits while working for Vermont Hillside Lawn Services in order to obtain a quick energy boost to make it through his physically demanding job.
Andrew Bracy, 21, a member of the Norwich men’s lacrosse team and a senior history major from Carthage, N.Y., stayed active by “practicing faceoffs every day, and playing in the annual Carthage High School Alumni Lacrosse Game.”
Bracy also participated in the local YMCA Turkey Run, a 5K event near his hometown in upstate New York in an attempt to work off the calories from his favorite dish at Thanksgiving dinner, the “mashed potato-gravy volcano.”
McMullen had a less traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and said her favorite part of the meal was the steak her grandmother cooked. The steak has become a small family tradition, since McMullen does not eat turkey or chicken.
Although not many teams had to spend additional time on campus after vacation officially began, the Norwich football team stayed an additional day for their game against Salve Regina for the ECAC Northeast Bowl, which they lost 48-21.
Tarvit, an offensive lineman on the NU football squad, got his exercise over break while working a job that entails raking, cleaning yards, and shoveling.
“I needed to make money, and working is a quick way for me to stay in shape while still earning money,” said Tarvit.
Tarvit wasn’t able to participate in his individual sport over Thanksgiving break, but made sure to watch the annual Thanksgiving day football games on television. A tradition in Tarvit’s family is to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which he did while celebrating at his grandparent’s house.
Ryan McCarthy, 20, a junior communications major from Medford, Mass., spent his vacation traveling the south, spending time in both Louisiana, and Florida. While in Florida, McCarthy was able to participate in his family’s tradition of playing “Left, Right, Center,” a dice game where small bets can be won and lost. “Everyone thinks they have the winning strategy, but the game really is mostly luck,” McCarthy said. “I have been pretty lucky the past few times we have played, but my uncle definitely won most of the rounds this year.”
A foot injury kept McCarthy sidelined on Black Friday, a nationwide shopping event held on the day following Thanksgiving, “I was going to try and get some Christmas shopping out of the way, but I ended up just relaxing with my family instead.”
Black Friday, a tradition nearly as well-known as Thanksgiving itself, was not very popular among Norwich athletes this year. “My family went and ended up buying a few gifts for Christmas, but nothing too big,” McMullen said.
“I turn 21 over Winter break, so that’s definitely something I am looking forward to,” McCarthy added. He was also appreciative of the fact that he would not have any homework over the Christmas break, saying that “I am just going to relax this break and try not to worry about the upcoming semester.”
McMullen agreed. “I am looking forward to being able to relax, hang out with my friends, and start making Christmas presents for my family and friends. Also I am looking forward to not having homework and actually having time to workout and exercise everyday,” she said.
McMullen had a good season for the Norwich Women’s Soccer team, but is still recovering from an injury she suffered, making it hard to keep up with her daily routine of running on a treadmill.
The week and a half of classes between Thanksgiving and winter break is one of the shortest in recent history, which caused many Norwich athletes extra excitement for the holidays.
Bracy was one of the most excited, and said “not having homework lurking in the back of my mind will definitely let me relax a bit more than Thanksgiving break, and take some well-deserved time off.”

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