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FROM READERS: Heather Green takes on Law School while continuing to compete in track, field events

Thursday, May 1, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
For Heather Green, the pole vault event, like Law School, requires focus and concentration.

Ji-Ho Lee is a freshman at Rock Bridge High School. His sister, Ji-Sung Lee, is the photographer for this article and is a member of the track and field team at Gentry Middle School.

Heather Green might seem like your average Division I track and field athlete. At the University of Missouri, she attends practices and meetings, and competes alongside her teammates. But there is something that makes this pole vaulter unique. Green is also a full-time law student.

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In her junior year of intercollegiate competition, the Jefferson City High School alumna broke her navicular, a bone located on the top, middle section of the foot. This led to surgery and rehab, but then Green suffered from a condition known as periostitis, which occurs when the tissue pulls away from the bone.

Because of this, Green had a painful senior indoor season and decided to redshirt her final year of outdoor competition. Continuing with her studies, Green received her bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2013 and enrolled at the Law School at Mizzou last fall.

This is what allows her to be a full-time law student, while also having one more year of eligibility for the outdoor season.

“Law School is completely different from undergrad,” Green said.

The amount of work, the reading material, the environment of the classroom and the level of difficulty all make Law School more of a challenge.

“Law School can be hard and frustrating at times,” she explained. “It challenges everything you think you know.”

As an undergraduate nutritional sciences major, Green would spend extra time in the training rooms or at the track after practices. Now as a law student, she has to discipline herself to read and prepare for the next day’s class. The change in seasons from the fall to the spring also brought a new challenge.

“In the fall it was easier because … I didn’t have to travel on the weekends," Green said.

With the addition of weekend road trips in the spring semester, Law School has become even more difficult.

“It takes a lot of motivation to sit on a bus and study,” Green confessed. “Or stay in at the hotel to read when others are watching movies or going to the mall.”

After Law School, Green hopes to pursue a career in some version of sports law, such as working for the NCAA or being a lawyer for a college or professional sports team.

For now, however, Heather Green has her hands full.

“While balancing Law School and track has brought new challenges, it has been a great experience that I would do again in a heartbeat,” she said.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.


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