BE Ultimate sponsored athlete
by BE Ultimate
ife was busy for Rupal Ghelani before lockdown, and she liked it that way. Each day was packed with things to do, and on days that weren't, it meant there was time to fill. One of the biggest time fillers was ultimate, as Rupal trained and strived to play at the highest level, specifically WUCC. Naturally, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed everything down and created a whole bunch of time for Rupal and little to fill it with. Family was around, and she was able to take time to reconnect with her brother who was back from school. It was a relief that those around her were healthy and happy, but the pandemic still left Rupal with less to do than before.
“It’s been a complete change of lifestyle. I was used to having a busy lifestyle, so as soon as we went into lockdown everything just stopped. Adjusting to that was weird, but I’m just grateful everyone around me is healthy and happy.”
Running helped fill the time and presented a different challenge than ultimate. Considering playlists, distances, and competing against herself rather than against other people, the shift from the sporadic sprints that make up an ultimate game to the consistent strides of long-distance running was a joy for Rupal. Starting with five-kilometer runs and working her way through ten kilometers all the way to half marathons is an impressive feat. The change in activity also came with a change in mindset. At the beginning of quarantine, like many athletes, Rupal ran and trained with the intention of being in fighting form when ultimate returned, but as time dragged on, that mindset shifted from wanting to be competitive in tournaments to wanting to be a better version of herself.
“When we come back and play ultimate it’s going to feel even sweeter than it did before, and I don’t want to miss a single moment with my teammates. That’s what motivated me to change my mindset.”
It’s a lesson she would share with others: ultimate is going to come back at some point, and when it does you want to be the best version of yourself on and off the field. Training, staying healthy, and finding the things you love will help you be a better teammate and a better player, and stay injury-free. Becoming the best version of yourself is not restricted to training. For Rupal, the forced slowdown taught her to appreciate rest and taking time for herself. Now she understands the value of getting away and relaxing. Heading into a post-pandemic world, Rupal plans on scheduling hours during the week where she can take time for herself to just do nothing, something everyone should strive to do now and again.
“Having that time to myself is so valuable and so important. Learning to slow down and rest has been something my body definitely needed, and I didn’t realize it until I was forced to stop.”
And while she waits and trains and rests, more excited than ever to reconnect with teammates in person, Rupal is working hard to smash her new job. Having just finished her training in the field of data engineering, she’s stoked to be finding a job that’s an extension of her degree in math and is working hard to make a great impression. Keeping in contact with her team through Zoom, which has been a different dynamic from on-field friendships, has made Rupal ever more aware of how important her teammates and socialization are. Not satisfied with keeping her impressive talents to herself, Rupal plans on reaching out to the juniors program in the UK and getting involved with coaching other talented young players. Whether it’s ultimate, her career, or something completely new, Rupal is looking forward to absolutely crushing the future.
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