My name is Laura Quilter and for 15 years I lived inside a swimming bubble. It was a wonderful place; familiar and comfortable.
On the 18th of August 2017, that bubble burst. Big time. As a successful applicant for the 4th FISU Young Reporter Programme (#FISUYRP on Instagram), I am currently riding the steepest, most exciting learning curve of my life.
FISU’s motto “Excellence in Mind and Body” has struck a chord in my life. As a competitor at the 2013 and 2015 Summer Universiade’s, my third games experience is incomparable.
This experience is forcing me outside the bubble, and I’m learning, slowly, to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and to challenge some of the assumptions I have about my own professional ability.
Here’s a few fast rules I’ve learned about reporting in less than a week:
Rule 1: If there’s a socket, plug in. If you’re phone dies, your career dies.
Rule 2: Get busy on the bus. If you’re susceptible to motion sickness, then you’re at a distinct disadvantage. Use this time to write.
Rule 3: You don’t need oxygen, WIFI and Data are required to live in this environment.
Rule 4: If you’re getting 8 hours of sleep a night, you’re probably an athlete. Expect to get intimate with your computer keys in the wee hours of the morning. #writeuntilIdie
Rule 5: Stay hydrated. You’re likely to substitute many meals for coffee, don’t neglect the water bottles.
Rule 6: Short and sharp. If you’re nervous in the mixed zone it will manifest in long winded questions. This is time to get a quote, not tease out a life story.
Rule 7: Plan. Sometimes flying on passion and excitement will leave you sleep deprived and emotionally wrecked when you’ve missed a deadline because you have no article.
Rule 8: Don’t bring a 17’’ Dell Laptop to a multi-sport event. It will magically increase in weight with every hour and every day you lug it around to each venue.
Rule 9: Treat yo self- to nutritious foods. With a lack of sleep, adrenaline, caffeine and curve balls, the temptation to eat greasy is strong. Find fruit where you can and fill up on veges if possible. #freshisbest
Rule 10: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Create great articles. Connect with your interviewees. Then take a moment to breathe and embrace the event.
Laura Quilter, (NZL) FISU Young Reporter Programme