I'm Not Sporty, And That's OK

I'm Not Sporty, And That's OK

Not everyone needs to be in a sport. If they were, who would cheer each other on?

All throughout high school and college, sports are easily one of the biggest things talked about and participated in. Whether you enjoy baseball, football, track and field, soccer, or any other sports, there is a lot of pressure beginning in middle school to join a sport. I gave into this pressure, even though I knew even as a seventh grader that sports were not really my thing.

I first tried dance team. People who say that dance does not count as a sport has never tried going to a practice. Practices were four or five nights a week for multiple hours, with difficult routines to remember and skills to acquire and maintain and perfect. Plus, competitions on weekends and even some weeknights made it very difficult to focus on much else.

Also, when you are a person who thrives off of compliments and positive encouragement and your coach specifically says she is not the type of person to give out compliments, it made me feel like maybe I did not fit in.

So I later, quit.

Then in tenth grade, I tried track and I really enjoyed it! I decided to be a thrower because I have always hated running. I found really good friends and I enjoyed lifting every other day. However, I sometimes felt discouraged because it seemed as though everyone around me was getting better and I was staying stationary. I, unfortunately, did not end up continuing in college because the commitment was too big and I was worried I would not be able to keep up with school. So I had to end that.

In the beginning of the semester, a friend encouraged me to join rugby with her, assuring me that it was laid back and that the practices would not be too difficult. My first practice ended up being my last practice. I got so exhausted from the heat and the insanely difficult drills that I had to sit out for 75% of the practice because I felt like I would pass out. I still support the team and I watched them get all the way to the Final 4 in the nation (Go Gusties!), but when the spring comes and they start up again, I am pretty sure I will not be joining.

What I have learned through all these years is that it is okay to not be sporty or athletic.

You do not need to join a sport to make friends or to get into shape. There are lots of different ways to make friends or get into shape while actually enjoying yourself. One thing I found was musicals. I found a lot of good friends through it and I actually had fun and danced and it definitely felt like a work out to repeat the dances over and over! I also joined Key Club and found a passion for serving the community.

Basically, do not worry about the pressures of joining a sport. If you’re like me and know that it isn’t your thing, just know that there are a lot of different clubs and activities that you can join. You don’t need to try to fit in with the student athletes because that lifestyle is not realistic for everyone. Plus, who would be the fans if everyone always joined sports?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The Universal Love Of Soccer

Wrapped up in the beauty of a sport.

As a kid, I remember my parents signing me, along with my older siblings, up for a recreational soccer league. They enrolled us in a multitude of different activities as well, from dance to tennis to martial arts. But little did I know that I would later find myself coming back to soccer in my middle school years where I played for about two years on an Athena A travel league, and would later find myself in high school not being able to go a week without kicking or at least juggling the ball for a couple of minutes a day. Even though I no longer play for a competitive travel league and have instead picked up a passion for running, I still find myself loving the beauty behind the sport itself. If you’ve never played the sport before or are on the verge of giving it a try, these perks of the sport prove that soccer is the world's language for people of all ages and is mending the world's diversity through the love of one simple team sport.

1. Location is never an excuse.

When it comes to playing a game or just playing by yourself, you can pretty much find anywhere to kick. Other sports, like tennis, have to be played in its specific location -- on a tennis court -- and although some sports can technically be replicated in other areas, it’s not the most fitting as soccer is in just about any place. I remember being on vacation in Mexico one summer, and playing soccer with complete strangers who I’d never met before, on the beach, using random sticks we found to create markings for two goal posts and kicking barefoot on the sand. Whether it’s in the middle of the street in your neighborhood or at an actual soccer park, you can find pretty much anywhere to start a pickup game with anyone.

2. Accessibility

Whereas other sports require a ton of equipment, soccer is beautiful in its simplicity. Although some sports, such as football also follow this “simplicity rule” of just needing a ball and you’re good, the majority of other sports don’t carry the same way. For example, in volleyball, it’s difficult to play the sport without a net, which is unlikely to be randomly carrying around, or in basketball without a hoop. Soccer is one of the simplest sports to play, with only truly requiring one piece of equipment, a ball, if you just want to pass with other people or train by yourself.

3. Learnability

Whereas many sports ential complicated rules, soccer is universally much easier to understand how to play. Because there aren’t constricting positions in a pickup game, anyone can shoot or defend at any time or have fun doing anything in between. Other sports, such as football or basketball, that have more rules than soccer make the game harder to learn for anyone, whether they’re little kids or adults. Soccer isn’t a sport that requires for all players to be able to speak the same language either -- body language is key in the sport, to communicate with other players on a simpler and universal basis.

4. Weather permitting

The aspect I probably love most about soccer is that it can be played just about anywhere. Whether it’s an indoor league, outside on a hot summer day or in the pouring rain on muddy grass, the sport is always enjoyable in just about any circumstance. Because many parks are switching from grass to turf fields, this makes it much easier to play on a reliably flat surface, whereas other sports, such as tennis require a non-rainy day.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Why It's Still Great To Be a Georgia Bulldog

Last Monday was rough.

Yeah. So that happened.

It felt like the entire season was a dream. An incredible takeover in South Bend and a win over Notre Dame. Shutting out Tennessee. A loss to Auburn, and then a revenge win and an SEC Championship title. A stress-inducing win in double overtime at the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma.

A national championship game against Alabama. A nail-biting overtime. And then...

It's over. Just like that.

It can be hard with football to grasp the suddenness of the moment, the finality of a game-winning touchdown or a crucial missed call. There's no going back; the final score is the final score, the winner is the winner, and the losing team is left to pick up the pieces. For the fans of the team that comes up short, more specifically Georgia fans, a loss like the one we all experienced Monday night can feel like someone has ripped our hearts out. Because that's our team down on that field, on that screen, and when they hurt, we hurt, too. With a loss like this, it's easy to lose hope in not just our football team, but our university.

However, even though I and the rest of Bulldog Nation was seriously hurting during that game, I came to realize a few things about my school.

We are so positive all the time and it truly inspires me. Yes, it felt like the energy was sucked out of Athens the moment the game ended, but the day after, we still welcomed our team home with crowds of hundreds of fans and posters saying, "Still Proud!" At this institution, even if you come up short, even if you fail, it's okay. It's a part of the process: a building block, if you will. Find another solution. Find another way.

It feels like a family in Athens, Georgia. Even cheering for our dawgs in the National Championship felt like I was cheering for my local high school football team: there's a small town feel to this school and you can definitely sense it. So when we lost, we felt the loss collectively.

Finally, I realized that I never want to be at any other school other than the University of Georgia. Say what you will about our loss being in "typical Georgia" fashion, but there is a special air about this place that screams anything but "losers". It screams success and drive. It screams passion. Most importantly, it screams love.

So yeah, Monday sucked. But it is an incredible time to be a Georgia Bulldog.

Cover Image Credit: StadiumDB

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