It’s about routine, Theodore Frid said. Often, the South St. Paul senior’s day includes some variation of this: school, practice, homework, then back to the gym to work out.
If it’s late summer or early fall, he’s bulking up for football. If it’s winter — i.e., hockey season — Frid is putting in miles on a treadmill or indoor track, dropping weight and getting lean for the spring. Once spring finally arrives, well, that’s when he focuses on his primary sport, track and field.
Frid, a future college hurdler and high jumper, doesn’t think of himself as busy anymore, even with a class load that includes four International Baccalaureate courses.
“Once you have that routine down, it’s not so tough,” Frid said during an evening phone interview, right after finishing up his homework and just before heading back to the weight room. “You just figure out how to balance homework and practice and staying in shape. … You know why you’re doing it, and that makes it easier.”
Already having checked off a number of goals and milestones for his three-sport career with the Packers, Frid is focused on one last achievement: a state title in the 110-meter hurdles.
Football long has been Frid’s favorite sport he played. It’s easy to see why: His teams did plenty of winning.
“We always just had really fun teams to play on, all growing up,” he said.
His teams won four consecutive league titles from third through sixth grade, with his father, Mark, as the coach. The Packers made the Class 4A state tournament three out of his four varsity seasons.
Frid, an outside linebacker, wide receiver and kick returner, didn’t have much time to enjoy the success of his team in the fall. Hockey practice started almost immediately after the Packers were eliminated in the football state quarterfinals.
Playing left wing, Frid led South St. Paul (15-12) with 20 goals.
“The best thing about sports — at least in hockey and football — is just that [experience] of celebrating with your teammates, working together and accomplishing something together,” he said. “It’s like a family.”
Full speed ahead
Frid loves the feeling he gets before a race — a nervous, excited, anxious sensation he said he can feel in his stomach.
“Track’s just so different in that it’s just you out there,” he says. “Before a football game, you know it’s you and your teammates doing this together. It’s just you in the [starting] blocks.”
Frid first ran track in seventh grade. He made varsity as a high jumper in eighth grade, started running the hurdles as a sophomore, and, last season, Frid finished eighth in the Class 2A 110-meter hurdle finals, earning all-state honors.
He’s adding the triple jump to his slate of events, and may run some relays as well.
“I’d like to get back to state for the hurdles and make it for the high jump,” he said. “Eighth last year in the 110 [hurdles], I’m really hoping to finish higher; I want to be first place.”
South St. Paul had its first meet Thursday, an indoor event at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. For the first time in his life, Frid is focused solely on one sport. Next fall, he will run track at NCAA Division II University of Sioux Falls. He doesn’t see his routine changing, though; just the focus of it.
“It’s going to be weird, but I’m really excited about it,” he said of becoming a single sport athlete. “It’ll take a while to get used to it.”