A Day in the life of… Keegan Parrott
Keegan Parrott is an assistant coach of the track and field team, coaching the jump squad and writing lifting programs for the team, as he is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. This is his first year as a professor at Loras, teaching two sections of nutrition. He has only been at Loras for a few years but has managed to make quite an impact on the students and student-athletes here. If you’ve never had the good fortune of meeting Keegan, you’re about to get a bit of insight into his daily life. And if you’re interested in learning more about Keegan, stop by his office in Graber; he loves visitors and meeting new Duhawks.
Question: What time do you start your day, and what do your mornings tend to look like? As the nutrition professor, I’m assuming you eat breakfast. What do you generally choose to eat to start your day off right?
Keegan: I wake up at 5:30 a.m. every day. When I wake up, I have my coffee set to be turned on so it gets made at 6 a.m. so that, when I finish eating, I can have my first cup. My go-to breakfast is a large bowl of oatmeal with raisins, walnuts, and peanut butter. I’ll usually pair a piece of fruit with it. Sometimes on weekends, I make waffles. When it comes to my morning routine, I’ll usually read, go on social media, or work on lesson plans. I’ll read more or less depending on how much work I have to do. I’m a lot more focused in the morning because there are fewer distractions and less to think about.
Bob Schultz (who shares an office with Keegan) interjects here: It’s a thrill a minute; nonstop action…the place to be.
Keegan (laughing): It depends on the day, but I usually arrive at 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. Honestly, this can vary anywhere from 7-9:30 a.m. My commute is very short, so it takes me like five minutes to get to work. I’ll check in with co-workers, figure out if the Bears have won or lost based on what Bob is wearing, and print class materials or do final class prep work. In the middle of the day, I’ll have lunch—my go-to lunch is a burrito bowl. It’s adaptable and smells delicious. When I meal prep, sometimes I’ll make lunch in the morning, but I’ll usually cook everything on one day (Sunday) and have my rice in a large container and package it the night before. Then, if it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll go to class and teach two times a day. My day is usually completely different if I have class or don’t have class.
Question: How do you run your classes?
Keegan: I mostly lecture. I try to do activities, but it doesn’t always happen. Since I’m new to teaching and every class I teach is the first time I teach it, I have a lot of notes. Sometimes I will write notes on my notes on how to make the class better for the next time I teach it. Right now, the exams seem really hard and homework seems to be easy. If someone is goofing off in class, I usually let them; I don’t tend to yell at students. I’ve found if I talk towards the misbehaving student, they tend to stop.
Question: When it comes to coaching, what do you focus on during practice?
Keegan: I keep the jumpers warming up with the whole sprints crew, because I think it’s good for team bonding. We have to work around our facilities and weather, so in Graber we do a lot of approach work and plyometrics. Sometimes we’ll do bounding and bodyweight strength to reduce injuries. My favorite thing about coaching is seeing people have positive experiences and watching someone develop as a person, not just an athlete.
Question: What about your own workouts, as you’re an avid trackie yourself?
Keegan: Right now, I’ve been doing distance running, but obviously I don’t coach distance runners. If I have enough time after lunch to digest my food, I’ll try and work out before practice. If I have too much work to do during the day, I’ll work out after practice – which was a lot easier before it started getting dark too early. Sometimes I will jump in and do practices with them.
Question: What time do you generally leave Loras in the evenings, and what do your evenings generally entail?
Keegan: I usually leave Loras around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., when practice is over. This time will vary, depending if I’ve worked out or not. I eat right when I get home, because I’m usually very hungry. I’ll cook food and maybe watch a Netflix show while I eat. I do this to relax. Then I either have more work to do, or I’ll watch more of the Netflix show. I’ll read somewhere between an hour to zero minutes, depending on how much work has to be done. Sometimes I’ll have an event of some sort, like hanging out with people. Starting at 8:30 p.m., I’ll either still be doing something or just getting ready to go to bed. When I go to bed, I plug my phone into an outlet in the kitchen. I don’t sleep with my phone in my room. I usually go to bed at 9:30 p.m. I feel better being consistent with things. Having structure can help alleviate some stress. I have a very set bedtime and wake-up time; breakfast and lunch are at the same time; and keeping my phone away has really helped my mental health. There are certain foundations you can build upon for consistency, such as breakfast, lunch, bedtime, and wake-up times.