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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An Open Letter To High School Athletes In Their Senior Season

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

As I’m sure you know senior year is an exciting time. You’re the “big dogs”, as my teachers would put it, of the whole school. This is the year you are able to do all the things you’ve waited for the past three years. You can sleep in every morning because you don’t have class until nine or leave school early because you don’t have a last hour class. It’s great, right? Right.

However, this year, although it’s arguably the best year of high school, could also be the hardest. No, not hard because of classes or homework or actually having to decide on a college. Hard because it’s full of lasts. Last Homecoming, last spirit week, last Sadie’s, last school pictures, last musical.

And for many, the last time you’ll wear that jersey.

Of all the lasts that will happen this year, that has to be toughest one. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that will continue playing your chosen sport into college. Congratulations if that’s the case for you and I hope you continue playing as long as you can.

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

When you started as a freshman four years ago, you might have had little clue what the coming years would bring. As all freshmen do, you dreamed of making varsity and playing in every game, or earning as many medals as you could. The possibilities were endless.

Now here you are, in your senior year. Maybe you’ve won a state title or two. Maybe you’ve set new school records. Maybe even state records. No matter the case you’ve played your heart out for the past four years on the field and court. You’ve woken up at five in the morning for workouts and practices. And you’ve stayed until ten at night trying to get every play in the book fixed into your brain. You’ve spent your Friday nights under those nights no matter what the weather was like, rain or snow. You’ve spent your Saturdays at volleyball tournaments and your Sundays resting knowing that Monday’s practice would be a rough one. You’ve missed nearly a whole day of school for track meets or games that were just that far away.

You have had tan lines like crazy from your tennis uniform. Softball and baseball players have one hand darker then the other and golfers have legs three shades lighter than their arms. If you were like me you'd complain about how bad your tan lines looked in homecoming pictures (thank you tennis).

It never seems like it's your last year until senior night comes along. At least that's when it hit me. Then the next thing you know the season is over and you're handing in the uniform you've had the past couple of years.

So when you go to hand in that jersey or uniform remember the last four years. I hope you remember all the bus rides to and from games laughing with your teammates. The team dinners before games and the banquets to celebrate the season. All those early morning practices you dreaded until your coach came walking in with a box of doughnuts. All the games, win or lose, rain or shine, windy or hot. All the bruises and cuts you got that seemed to take ages to go away. Every practice you had to run extra for having too many fouls or turnovers. The pep rally’s for the first game of the season. The way you felt when you made that three, scored on a serve, caught that pass, or won that medal.

Because that chapter is or is almost over. The past four years you have been an athlete, I hope you showed it in every way. One day you won’t be an athlete anymore, so take this time to enjoy it and play with every ounce of passion you can.

Cover Image Credit: Rebekkah Wamser

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Here's What I Learned Going To A Gun Range

First of all, remember to put on earmuffs.

Over Spring Break, my roommate and I decided to try out a couple of activities we've never done before. We decided to visit the gun range to experience something that is very present in our lives. Coming from a country where private ownership of guns is largely outlawed, I first encountered a drawn gun during the USC Fertitta shooter scare of 2017.

Even so, I can say that I am 'familiar' with guns, and by that, I mean it's everywhere-- in movies, video games, and other media. Branding a gun looks so effortless when the hero of the movie jumps in to save the day, but knowing that real life is never like the movies, I wanted to experience what shooting a gun is truly like.

I started to sweat profusely the moment I entered the gun club lobby. All sorts of guns were hanging on the walls, and the sounds coming from the range were LOUD. After getting our gun (AK-47), ammunition, and protective gear, we headed to the range-- WITHOUT OUR EARMUFFS ON.

It was such a common sense thing to do, but our nerves got the best of us. My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach when that shot went off, and my ears were ringing for about a minute.

It took us a while to gather ourselves and make sure everything was on. The first thing that hit me when I first entered the room was the smell. I guess that's what they meant in novels when they describe the smell of gunpowder.

Then, it was time to shoot.

What I was most afraid of was the kickback, because I hear about people getting hurt from the force. But when I pulled the trigger, the thing that made me jump was the sound-- not the smell or the kickback. The sound wasn't only loud, but very distinct and punctuated-- it took me by surprise even though I was expecting it.

After a couple of rounds, and lots of pictures, we were done.

It was a learning experience; I had never held such a powerful weapon in my hand, and I went in knowing that it's not a toy that you hold and look cool in.

I would definitely do it again.

Cover Image Credit: freephotos.cc

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