Know Your Pride: Q&A With Josh Unas

Know Your Pride: Q&A With Josh Unas

The Regis (Mass.) swimming and diving team is on hiatus until mid-January, leaving junior breaststroke and butterfly event swimmer Josh Unas time for a Q&A session with Regis Athletics.

Why did you choose to come to Regis?
Last minute, at the end of my senior year of high school, I decided I was going to do nursing, and the original plan was just at a local community college. But around March, Coach James (Sweeney) emailed me and said to apply. I eventually got the acceptance letter and we did some research and found that Regis had a really good nursing program. I figured it would be a great opportunity to do nursing and swim for a college team.

So far, what has been your most memorable Regis experience in or out of the pool?
My freshman year at GNACs, where I won the 200 individual medley. That was probably the best moment in my entire career.

When Coach Sweeney gives you the day off, what are you doing instead?
Usually I’m either taking a nap or doing some homework.

What do you enjoy most about swimming for Regis and in general?
Just the environment and self-improvement. It’s interesting because swimming is mostly individual, but getting random moments of camaraderie feels pretty good, especially when we have relays. I think what I like about practice is that it really feels like you’re making yourself better, and when it comes to meets, you get to see that work pay off.

Coach Marissa (Minor) tells me you’re an artist, tell be about some of your artwork.
Growing up, my dad showed me a lot of Spiderman comic books, and that became kind of my inspiration - a lot of cartoons and comic book characters. I never really took the time to take art classes or anything, but I still love to draw. I’m mostly self-taught and now I’m trying to do more with abstract art, graphic design, and I’m even working with Coach Sweeney on a design for a New England (Championships) shirt.

It seems like you’ve kind of taken your art to the next level. How did you get into that?
 I took one class my freshman year of high school, but the teacher wasn’t too great and deterred me from it for a little bit, but I still kept sketching ideas all the time.

Do you feel like you kind of have a knack for just picking up the pencil and drawing?
I guess so. Just from doodling all the time, and experimenting all the time. I actually did something with construction paper, where I put a design on my wall. I’m working on a variation of it for the swim team. I’m not sure how or why I got so interested in design, I think it’s just when I see graphic design or logo it kind of serves as an inspiration. I feel like I have a more simplistic approach to art and I kind of got drawn to graphic design.

What is it like going to school nearly 3,000 miles from home?
Weirdly enough, I don’t feel super homesick. I think that has a lot to do with having a really good relationship with my parents. Not to say that other people don’t, but I think when I finally graduated high school, I was ready to experience something new and my parents were very supportive of it. I think also during my senior year, when I didn’t know what to do, and then given an opportunity at the last chance put a different perspective on it. Being far away from home was like a new opportunity to take advantage of.

What are you up to this winter break?
Definitely trying to get some training in, and also just taking a break when I can. I feel like with GNACs recently, I feel like I’m finally where I want to be with my goals and times, and I really want to keep that ball rolling. Last year I had the flu all winter break, so when I came back I felt like I was playing catch up, like starting from scratch, so I have a new motivation to keep working hard.  

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given and by whom?
I think it was my dad. I don’t think he necessarily came up with it, but he said “whatever happens, just leave it in the pool.” It took me quite a while to really adopt it into how I go about school and swimming, because I’ve taken a lot of loss, at times, really close to heart. My mindset at the time was “don’t forget the bad stuff because that’s going to help you learn more,” but over time, I noticed I would get so caught up on the negative side - the fear of failing, where I think there’s nothing wrong with kind of letting go of the bad and just moving forward.

What is the last picture you took on your phone?
My girlfriend and I were in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving break, and she saw a picture of a mural with a flower and she wanted me to take a picture of her in front of it.

If you could sit down to dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My grandfather on my dad’s side. I remember when I was younger I would get to talk to him on the phone. He lived in the Philippines so I never really got to see him, but I did when I was an infant. I’ve heard so much from my dad, like he was the governor of the province at the time and had to raise six kids, and I would have loved to meet him.

If you could have a special power, what would it be?
Definitely super speed.

What are you hoping to do after you graduate from Regis?
I definitely want to pass my nursing exam, become a full-time nurse, and get started on living on my own and hopefully starting a family.

If you could live in a TV show or movie, what would it be?
That’s a tough one, I haven’t watched a whole lot of television lately. I think probably 21 Jump Street. I’ve looked the way I do for a long time, but I’m 20, so I figured if I were a detective, I could pass as a high schooler, so I think that would be pretty funny. That and I’m not super short but also not super tall, so I’m kind of in the sweet spot for looking really young if I shave and everything.

If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?
I’d definitely give half to my parents. They were on top of me from day one. Not in a bad way, they just did everything they could to make sure I did well in school and in swim, and they’re still with me up to now. So even if I’m giving away half my money, it’s worth it.

All abilities aside, if you could play a sport at Regis other than swimming, which would you choose?
I would definitely run track. Probably the mile or 800m. I never did a lot of cross country, but it’s something I would consider.

What's your go-to karaoke song?
Slide by Calvin Harris

If you could be any animal what would you be?
I think a tiger.