A day in the life of a Brandeis athlete: Maggie Shealy ’23

February 7, 2020

This column will highlight a different student-athlete each week, striving to unearth what the hectic life of a Brandeis athlete entails. With this in mind, such a collection of stories will serve as a testament to the hard work, passion and resilience that athletes at Brandeis specifically embody, hopefully working to bridge the gap between student-athletes and the rest of the Brandeisian community.

Maggie Shealy ’23 wakes up every day at 6 a.m. to be in Gosman by 7 a.m. for fencing practice, earlier than most students would ever dare set an alarm. Shealy is a member of the varsity women’s fencing team, competing in sabre. She has practice from 7 to 9 a.m., but her workout isn’t over yet. She then has a private lesson. From there, it’s breakfast and a shower before her first class at noon on Monday. Her classes aren’t over until 5 p.m., and Monday isn’t even her roughest day. 

Shealy considers Thursday to be her longest day. In the morning, she still has her early workout and fencing practice, which she has every weekday, but unlike Monday, she does not end at 5 p.m. On Thursday nights, she goes to practice with the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra for which she plays cello. Orchestra rehearsal doesn’t end until 10 p.m. This late-night ending time makes her grateful that she doesn’t have classes on Friday. 

This doesn’t mean she has weekends off. She mentioned that she is often preparing for competitions on Friday afternoon, whether that be helping set up Gosman or travel for the meet. Shealy acknowledged in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot that her schedule was busy, “but worth it. It’s what I love to do.”

The fencing team has been an important aspect of Shealy’s life even before she officially attended Brandeis. She mentioned to The Hoot that she was visiting Brandeis for a recruitment trip that included an overnight stay, and while she was eating in lower Usdan with the rest of the team, she said that she could easily see herself at Brandeis, just from talking to them. That was when she decided to commit. 

She is still as enamored with the team now as she was then. In high school, Shealy mentioned that all of her competitions were solo, but she now competes in team tournaments, an aspect she truly loves. She is all about the “#teamculture,” she told The Hoot. “We can’t win a meet without the entire team giving their best effort…everyone has each other’s backs,” she said about her teammates. Shealy also enjoys the “extra spirit and energy to fight to the end” that competing on a team brings; she’s fighting for more than just herself. 

The team competition is not the only new thing for Shealy since coming to Brandeis. She mentioned that back in high school, she was involved in many different extracurriculars, including running an anti-humantrafficking club as well as a “bed and breakfast for dogs.” At Brandeis, fencing, orchestra and homework take up all of her free time, though she does practice graphic design whenever she has a chance.

Her hard work is paying off, though. Currently, Shealy is ranked at about 50 in the country for women’s sabre. She will be competing in the Junior Olympics on Feb. 15. Until then, she’ll represent Brandeis.

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