When you love something so much, sometimes you have to give it up, even if it’s not your choice. That’s the story of Trish Leger, a former University of Florida triple jumper who can no longer participate due to patellar tendonitis in her right knee. Leger says the hardest part about it, was accepting it.
“The fact of accepting that I wasn’t running track anymore, being that I ran track for so many years, that’s really what my life was consumed of. The one thing that you were so close to is taken away, and it wasn’t my choice,” she said.
Leger’s journey began back in middle school where she first discovered her love for track. She enjoyed running, jumping, and basically anything else that had to do with the sport. Track followed her to Royal Palm Beach Senior High School in West Palm Beach, Florida where she jumped 39.11 meters her senior year at her regional track meet; she says that was the jump that got her here to the University of Florida.
After doing the same thing for so long, Leger had to adjust to life as simply a student, rather than a student athlete. She also has to adjust on the financial side of things going from a scholarship athlete, to a regular student who uses grants to financial aid to fund her education.
“Life as just a student you have more time and less pressure, being an athlete you’re always thinking about athletic in some way.”
Despite not being able to participate with her teammates, Leger is always out supporting her teammates; she describes herself as their “number one fan.”
As a senior with her days at the University of Florida coming to an end, Leger says her main focus is to graduate with her degree in family youth and community sciences and attending medical school.
She says no matter how her life ends up, track will always be her “first love.”