To My Coach Who Taught Me More Than I Know

To My Coach Who Taught Me More Than I Know

I was lucky enough to spend four short years with you and walk away with a lifetime worth of knowledge.

Dear Coach,

There’s simply not enough thank you’s in the world for you. You have impacted me more than probably either of us realizes yet.

When I first joined, I was intimidated by the legacy and the prestige of the reputation you had created for the team. I really didn’t know what to expect or that I would leave with so many valuable lessons. I was lucky enough to spend four short years with you and walk away with a lifetime worth of knowledge.

First, I would like to thank you for being my rock when I needed absolutely anything. You made me feel comfortable coming to you with family, friend and academic problems and you always seemed to know the right thing to say and the solution. During the season, it’s no doubt that I spent more time with you and the team than my own family and vice versa. Thank you for dedicating so much of your time and heart into your team and favorite sport. Without you, it truly wouldn’t have been the same.

Second, I need to thank you for teaching me self-discipline. Because of you I now know that if you’re not fifteen minutes early, you’re actually late and believe it or not, this motto now pertains to more things in my life than just showing up to practice on time.

You taught me that a good attitude and confidence can go a long way and is the real key to success. Also, faking it until you make it is actually a real thing despite my disbelief. You always pushed me to my limit and never let me give up, even when it’s all I thought I had left to do. You proved to me that I am stronger than I think and that practice really does make perfect.

I learned throughout the years that winning isn’t everything, it’s just the cherry on top at the end of the day. Learning to work together as a team and having fun while doing it was all that really ever mattered. I finally realized that making a “mistake”, isn’t really a mistake if I learned something from it which has been one of the more valuable lessons I have ever learned. Hard work really does pay off and there will never be a time I regret giving it my all, only regrets of holding back.

Because of you, I realized how important and necessary focusing is for the mental when preparing for anything I am even slightly nervous for. You taught me that there are always consequences for my actions and how to be responsible at a young age.

Today, I truly believe my work ethic is a direct reflection of you and everything you taught me as a young adult. Your wisdom was extremely influential and has helped shape me into who I am today and who I want to be in the future.

Lastly, thank you for helping me grow every day in the sport that we both love so much. I would have never reached my goals without you by my side, rooting me on every step of the way. I will forever be thankful that you were such a big part of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Madisson Morris

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.


Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.

Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.

Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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