Not only are some of the male members of the faculty at Maryville College to be considered athletes outside the classroom, but the females are, too. Two prime examples are Dr. Jennifer Brigati and Amber Lee.
Starting off as a young girl, MC women’s assistant basketball coach Amber Lee grew up playing softball. Just this past summer, Lee joined a church-league softball team.
While discussing a funny story from one of her games with a friend from college, she was asked to join an organized club team. She now plays with a company out of Knoxville on a team called “Orange Crush.” Crush plays its games at Bob Leonard Park in Farragut.
Lee said that the most rewarding things about playing again were “having the opportunity to be physically active, make new friends and being on a competitive team again.”
Her team will soon be playing in the local championship game.
Her only advice to players starting out is to “have patience at the plate, keep your weight back and drive the ball.”
Biology professor Dr. Jennifer Brigati not only runs for herself, but is also a volunteer assistant coach of the cross-country team here at Maryville. Brigati started running on her junior high cross country team. At first, she did not like it, but her parents made her continue her running career into high school. After a while, she started to enjoy it.
Unfortunately, the Southampton College of Long Island University did not have a competitive cross-country team. This did not stop her, though.
“When I got out of school and into the adult running world, I found that it was a really close community of friendly people and just kind of a fun thing to do,” Brigati said.
She also said that she has a family history of every kind of ailment that would lead to obesity.
“I am literally trying to run away from [obesity].”
Her typical time for a run is at five in the morning, either on her treadmill or around her subdivision. She loves to run on the Greenbelt as well as around Cade’s Cove.
Brigati said that she averages about half a dozen races a year and almost every single race is for a charity. On the weekend of Oct. 9, she was the female winner of the Townsend 10K race.
For those who want to start running, she said: “Start out by walking. You should run for one minute, walk for one minute for one mile at least three times a week. Each week you should increase in an increment of one minute and a quarter of a mile. Yes, it is challenging to maintain any sort of competitive athletics after school, but if you want to do it, you can find a way.”
Unless you are an athlete, maintaining physical fitness can be hard to fit into a routine or schedule. Balancing classes, work and a social life is tough enough. These two women have found ways to keep in shape and stay active that are enjoyable for them.