The balancing act of an Emerson athlete

by Beacon Staff • February 15, 2006

"What we did is we traveled and watched [Junior Jodie Jordan] play summer [soft]ball.,Emerson College Softball Head Coach Phil McElroy has developed a system for recruiting potential students. Before looking at athleticism, he observes their academic aspirations and time management skills.

"What we did is we traveled and watched [Junior Jodie Jordan] play summer [soft]ball. We like the extra effort," McElroy said of his starting right fielder. "That's someone who interests me." In the summer of her junior year of high school, Jordan was involved in softball tournaments on the weekends. McElroy attended some of the games to scout Jordan and has been proven right about the Northboro, Mass. native.

Jordan appears to give her all whether she is going to class, interning at Body Soul Magazine in Watertown, Mass., playing softball or tennis (depending on the season), working at the restaurant Cheers, going to the gym and doing yoga or finding time in her day to finish homework and class assignments.

As if all of these activities were not enough for the writing, literature and publishing (WLP) major, she added a journalism minor in her sophomore year.

"She's just always on the go. She never has nothing to do," Jordan's roommate and softball teammate, Heather Drobiarz, said. "I hear her get up and I don't see her until really late at night or until softball practice."

Somehow Jordan finds time to take part in all of her commitments.

At an 11 a.m. interview (one of the only time slots she had available on a Friday), Jordan gave an in-depth description of a week in her hectic life.

Monday is her lightest day in terms of responsibility.

She has classes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

After her classes, Jordan uses her free time to do her school work and laundry.

She said Monday is her "catch up day." At 6:30 p.m., you can find her at yoga class in the Emerson College Fitness Center (ECFC).

Monday is also Jordan's "night of 24," she said referring to the television series. "I don't want anyone to bother me at 9 o'clock."

As Monday night dwindles away, Jordan tries to get sleep for her jam-packed Tuesday.

She wakes up at 7 a.m. to get ready for her 9 to 5 internship at Body Soul Magazine.

Jordan describes Body Soul as a "holistic living magazine." She said about the magazine; "It's about an all-encompassing whole lifestyle, which is great, because I'm into that type of thing so it's pretty ideal for me."

Jordan uses her half-hour commute back and forth from Watertown to do work on the bus.

Arriving home around 5:30 p.m., Jordan continues her schoolwork.

Depending on her stress level, she may go to the ECFC and work out for an hour until the softball team gathers and leaves for practice at 8:15 p.m. Practice takes place a half hour away in Danvers, from 9 to 11 p.m., which gets Jordan back to her home on Warrenton Street around 11:45 p.m.

"I take a shower and go to bed," she said of her time following practice.

However, Jordan has learned to manage her time.

"It took me all of freshmen year [to find out] that there is time to do work after 12 o'clock [at night.]"

But getting to bed early is still a priority for Jordan, because she has to wake up on Wednesdays for her 10 a.m. class, "Covering Day's News," and then goes to her 12 p.m. class, "Native American Literature," which ends at 1:45 p.m. She works out after class and then has time to do school work until evening softball practice. Once again, the two-hour practice gets her home just shy of midnight.

On Thursday, she gets up at 7 a.m. for her internship, which ends again at 5 p.m. She is home at 5:30 p.m. and then has "to eat something really fast" because she has to jet back to Emerson for her 6 to 9:45 p.m. class, "Advanced Fiction Writing." Due to this class, Jordan has to miss softball practice. McElroy allows the absence because the class is required for her major.

"He's pretty understanding that sometimes we have classes we have to take," Jordan said. "He knows we're committed."

However, Jordan did not intend on taking three classes and having an internship. "I initially wanted to take 2 classes and an internship to lighten my load, but I would have had to pay for four credits of classes because that's Emerson's policy," she said. "But I couldn't justify paying for a class that I wasn't taking."

On a standard Friday, (minus her 11:00 a.m. interview), Jordan heads to the ECFC to take yoga from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. Softball practice starts promptly at 2 p.m. and lasts for an hour and a half. She usually has a shift at Cheers on Beacon Street from 5 p.m. until later that evening.

Jordan works another shift on Saturday and does class work when she can. During the weekend, she tries to "workout whenever I can fit [it] in."

To close out her week, Jordan works at Cheers from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, followed by softball practice from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

"I do homework after practice or at work if we're not busy," Jordan said.

She sighed after reciting her schedule and said with a smile, "that's my week."

With so many academic commitments, Jordan finds little time for socializing.

"Before softball started, I would go out," she said. "But I don't want to be out when my team is practicing."

She then joked, "I'm a 40-year-old woman is what it comes down to."

However, Jordan said she doesn't mind the time commitment necessary for being on the softball team. In fact, the team is one reason she decided to attend Emerson.

"When I was picking colleges, I wasn't sure if I wanted to play softball. Then I thought about it and realized I would miss it," Jordan said. "Emerson was the perfect fit. It's Division III sports, academically great and I love Boston. A big reason why I came here was for athletics because I wanted to play."

Jordan has been playing softball since she was in the fifth grade. At Algonquin Regional High School, Jordan said her team was in "our heyday" during her sophomore and junior years. Her team even made it to the district tournament while she was in high school.

In her senior year her team's pitcher graduated and she said her team was "really, pathetically bad."

Jordan not only played third base on the softball field in high school, she also played field hockey and was the Op-Ed editor of her school newspaper.

McElroy saw lots of promise in Jordan.

"To be an athlete at this school, it takes a lot of dedication and self motivation," he said

McElroy then talked about the time constraint on Jordan,

"She has a great work ethic and we have had meetings to try to fit [softball around] her schedule," he said.

He added, "It is difficult to play a sport and do everything you need to do to be successful at this school."

Jordan said she has fallen comfortably into the pattern of a packed week.

"I kind of like it better," Jordan said. "For example#

44; on Wednesday when I have 3 to 8:15 p.m. with nothing to do, I don't know what to do. I work better when I have a specific, dedicated time to do something. It's always worked out for me."