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The Dartmouth
June 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Reflections from Seasoned Green Key Athletes

Sports editors Lanie Everett and Stephanie Sowa muse on the parallels between athletic competitions and Green Key weekend, Dartmouth’s annual music festival.


This past weekend, campus came together to celebrate Green Key weekend, one of the biggest social events at Dartmouth. Since almost all teams’ seasons have officially ended, sports coverage options were slim for us sports editors as we wrapped up Week 8 of the term. While we experienced Green Key, however, we noticed many parallels between this music festival-marathon and high-stakes, athletic competition. As we recover, we’ve realized how we approached the weekend from the perspective of athletes; thus, it deserves its spot in The Dartmouth’s Sports section. We hope you take away from this the lessons we learned from this year’s Green Key, so you may better prepare in the years to come. 

Preparation and Training 

Outfits are a crucial aspect of prime competition. During Green Key, those coordinated uniforms from our youth sports teams evolved into glittery outfits we used to identify our friends from afar, as they moved swiftly throughout the masses of people. With the sounds of Shark taking over Webster, people with outfits that didn’t restrict their mobility danced without a care at Phi Delta Alpha fraternity’s Block Party. We made sure to wear fashionable yet comfortable attire so we could best showcase our dancing abilities. Of course, you do not want any aspect of your clothing inhibiting your performance. 

Some people underestimated the sheer physical stamina required to mobilize during Green Key. We found it best to prepare by taking long walks around Occom Pond and Pine Park with friends, utilizing hills and distance training to our advantage. We also prepared by swimming in the freezing river, familiarizing our bodies with the different muscles that we weren’t sure even existed. Plenty of jumping jacks allowed us to jump up and down easily during the concert on Tuck Drive without becoming extremely winded. We also built our wrist strength so our Green Key wristbands sat comfortably on our skin and did not fall off. 

Ample Sleep Makes a Difference 

Over the weekend, one could tell the difference between those that had and had not regulated their circadian rhythm to maximize energy. We prepared by listening to meditation apps and the setlist for the weekend, which helped us cultivate an ideal state of mind for physical and mental recovery. The words to “Everybody Talks” and “Animal” were seeped into our souls so that we could sing away any worries during the weekend. We woke up feeling refreshed and well-rested, necessary for raging all weekend long. While some regained stamina during the night by prioritizing sleep, others raged into the wee hours of the morning. However, whatever state of being one was in, they were welcome to Friday’s Concert on Gold Coast Lawn. Via word of mouth, it can be estimated that the average individual knew three songs from Neon Trees and one-fourth of a song from Cochise. However, there was no shame in singing random words. The people showed up, eyes half open and all. Everybody was there for a good time, no judgment passed. 

Hydration and Fuel

The importance of water and food cannot be overstated. We made sure we stocked up with water bottles as well as various other types of liquids. Another obstacle: We learned that the Class of 1953 Commons is no longer a cafeteria between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the day of Block Party. We had to throw hands for a hot dog and fries and wait in the longest grill line that we’ve ever seen for six chicken nuggets. Finding a seat is a bit overrated, so sitting on the floor or sharing seats became acceptable. We even utilized the standing chair yoga position as we ate, and we recommend you incorporate that into your future Green Key-training regimen. We also strategized by eating and drinking wherever we found ourselves at the moment. This tactic resulted in our consumption of pig, crawfish, cookies, popcorn, rain and maybe even some mud. The Green Key diet may not be the healthiest, but food is fuel. 

Warming-Up and Mental Preparation

Stretching and manifesting are essential for the weekend. We ensured that our bodies were limber and prepared to take on odd standing positions. We were confronted with long lines, and bodies colliding on the dance floor. We got together with our friends before the concerts to ensure that we had a solid group to stick with throughout the weekend. We set goals and clarified intentions, making eye contact while doing so —  team chemistry is solidified at this moment. We played hype music through speakers to bring up the energy levels. This game plan was crucial so that our team was aware of what to do in an emergency, and how we would organize ourselves during spontaneous photoshoots. 

Performing Our Hearts Out

Prepared and knowing exactly what to do, we showed up and remained 100% present in the moment during each concert.  We found that it was best to move in a rhythm according to the performer’s bass beat. For example, when we listened to a DJ with a Skrillex-type beat, we nodded our heads and flapped our wrists in sync to the music. We have learned that there is limited space and mosh pits will appear, so we did the best we could to let loose and dance  in such tight quarters. For future reference, when you are listening to someone playing folk or country, don’t be afraid to break out the line dance that you learned that one time in middle school. We brought those moves out. We spun our friends around in circles. For brownie points, we even utilized bubble blowers to enhance our performance. A little flair never hurt an athlete. We also made sure to commit to the party in any state of weather. This past Saturday, Luude brought the rain, and so only the strongest individuals kept moving until the end. 

Rest and Recovery

This weekend, we learned the importance of taking care of ourselves. You should too as we experience the Green Key-recovery period. Attend a yoga class, embark on a cool off walk, take a trip to the river with loved ones, sit on the grass and just enjoy the fresh air this week. Reflect on your weekend with kindness towards yourself because, while Green Key is supposed to be fun, it can be an emotionally taxing experience. You did the work, so be proud of yourself! We’re proud of ourselves. Join us in relaxation and relishing in love. And then guess what? You get to do it all over again next spring.