MARQUETTE, Mich. - Injuries and illness are a part a life and a part of sports. Swimmers who spend the majority of their practice time with faces in the water looking at the black line at the bottom of the pool know about the setbacks that can happen. One member of the Northern Michigan University swimming and diving team knows very well about setbacks. Hannah Bolger has had her fair share of injuries and illness during her NMU career. Included on the list are knee, shoulder and back injuries. She is currently recovering from the flu.
The senior from Minocqua, Wis. did not really know about NMU but heard about it from her best friend. “Well I checked it out. I was looking into playing soccer or swimming,” said Bolger. “I really liked the campus. I came up here and started swimming.” A bonus for Bolger was the outdoor activities that one can do in an area like Marquette. After all she is majoring in outdoor recreation. In high school Bolger participated in swimming along with basketball and soccer.
Originally Bolger started out as a psychology major and switched to business very quickly. She thought that would be helpful since her family owned a funeral home. “I thought that maybe that would help in some way. Then I decided that was not for me,” said Bolger.
After enrolling in college injuries was something new. “I rarely got hurt in high school. In high school I did not push my body to the limit,” said Bolger. “It is still frustrating getting injured being on the sidelines. I hate being injured and not competing.” She knows the importance of listening to the trainers and following what they tell her to do, so she can get healthy and back in the pool.
Her time away from the pool and her teammates has put a road block in her path in getting to know the freshmen on the team to still be connected. “It is hard especially since I have missed some meets,” said Bolger. The plan is for Bolger to be back after Thanksgiving and continue for the remainder of the season. “As long as I take care of myself and get well rested I should be fine.”
Looking back on her NMU career Bolger sees many ups and downs. “I started out pretty high and doing really well,” said Bolger. She has competed at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Swimming and Diving Championships, finishing 14th at last year’s event in the 200-yard breaststroke. “Unfortunately, going down to a low and having to work my way back up. A lot of climbing. I will look back and see a lot of climbing,” added Bolger. Swimming to Bolger is something that she really loves and it is hard for her to stop. According to Bolger swimming has taught her to never give up and to keep on working. Those qualities can be applied to all aspect of one’s life.
After her days at NMU are over she wants to move out to the western part of the United States and become a ski instructor. “I want to work on the mountain and work with kids,” said Bolger.
Even though she has had many setbacks during her time at NMU that has not stopped Bolger from doing what she loves, getting an education and moving on with her life. Life has many twist and turns, how you deal with them make you the person that you are.
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Sports Information Director