Saying Goodbye To The Sport That Built Me

Saying Goodbye To The Sport That Built Me

I realize that through all those hardships of being in a competitive sport really formed me into the person I am today...

We, as humans, have passions. Passions that drive us each and everyday to live our lives to the fullest doing the things we love. Whether that be video games, cars, shopping, or exercise, there is a passion in everyone's life that molds a person into who they are. Although my current passion lies with writing and my love for English literature, that fire I feel now wasn't always a part of my life throughout high school. Instead, I found my drive in dedicating an hour and a half every weekday to the ring, practicing and competing on my high school's track and field team as a discus thrower. As I worked hard each and everyday, not only did I develop my athletic abilities, but also my personal character as I learned important life lessons through the sport.

Throwing has always been a love of mine ever since I was in elementary school. Throughout my childhood, my dad was the assistant track and field throwing coach and would bring me along to practices. I was mesmerized by the discus throwers especially; how they strode into the ring with confidence, the way the spun and glided throughout the ring, and the strength and power they displayed when releasing the discus. It was from that moment on that I was inspired to become like the throwers I had looked up to.

Enter seventh grade, the first year I was able to participate in school sports. After many years of watching, I had finally been able to participate and compete in the sport I had admired. Throughout my first year, I had spent time after practice with my dad, drilling through the basic throws and developing my form in order to further my throw's distance. Improving day after day in practice was my joy. I'd leave practice feeling accomplished and excited for the next track meet because I could show myself, my dad, my other coaches and teammates the result of all my hard work. Eventually all that work would come to pay off from eighth grade through my sophomore year of high school. In the eighth grade, I was the youngest thrower on the high school varsity team, out-throwing many of my teammates at the young age of 13. I was named Rookie of the Year that same year and qualified for state for the next three years. But by far my greatest accomplishment was placing seventh place in the state track meet my sophomore year of high school. At that point I felt on top of the world and the only way to go from there was up.

But my perspective and love for the sport drastically changed after my starting my junior year. Anxiety and self-doubt consumed my mind as I would pressure myself to beat one of my greatest competitors: myself. I often questioned "what if" when it came to the fear on falling backwards and not performing to my own expectations. Will my dad be disappointed in me, thinking that I have wasted all my hard work? Could I have personally done better during practice? All these thoughts festered in my mind, leaving me nervous to each and every competition. It eventually came to the point that throwing wasn't a passion I thoroughly enjoyed. It made me afraid of the possibility of disappointing myself, my coaches, my teammates, everyone.

These thoughts hindered my mindset and affected me in competition. It was a constant cycle of feeling anxious and heavily pressured before a competition to coming out disappointed and upset afterwards, leading me in a downward spiral of continuous shame. Each and every competition was like a section of a roller coaster, I had my ups and my downs but all of them were a wild ride of emotions up until the end of my senior year season.

One question that always was in the back of my mind: "Am I going to continue my throwing while in college?" And for years, the answer was yes. Not only was it something I loved at the time, but if I had gotten good enough, I would be able to impress colleges and be offered scholarships. But in the end, I decided to hang up my throwing shoes and toss in my uniform. I still felt a love for throwing, just the concept of feeling overwhelmed in competition shakes me of any desire to continue on in college.

Looking back after two years of not competing in sports, I realize that through all those hardships of being in a competitive sport really formed me into the person I am today. Throwing taught me to seek out the drive to do my best in every aspect of my life. The world itself is a competition on who can do what the best and most efficiently.

But it also made me find my limits. I am human and I can't do everything all at once and I may not preform my best all the time and that's okay. As long as I gave it my all I should be satisfied no matter the outcome.

Finally, I've learned that hard work always comes with payoff. To be able to do anything well, it takes time and patience. If you truly find yourself determined to work hard for your goals, they will be made into reality some day.

Cover Image Credit: Mary Pilon

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The Basics Of Hygge, To Help You Get Your Groove On

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A term you’ve probably seen plastered over countless Pinterest boards and featured in this New Yorker article, “hygge, (pronounced hoo-guh) is a Danish term used to explain the feeling of contentment, well-being, and coziness. Though it has no true English translation, it’s gained massive popularity over the past few years.

Winter is the most hygge time of the year. This concept is all about the warm and fuzzy side of life: cozy slippers, roaring fireplaces, and soft blankets. But it’s so much more than that. It can be found in a cup of tea, while sitting with loved ones, or inside the crackling of a candle wick.

Adding warmth to your life is simpler than you think. I wrote this hygge-inspired article for an introduction to sprucing up your bedroom. If you want to make any space a bit cozier and content, add fuzzy pillows, soft rugs, softly dimmed string lights, and a couple of close friends (or your pet!).

Most importantly, hygge focuses on the present. Today, we’re drowning under a siege of notifications and it seems that our surrounding technology is inescapable. “But what about my followers?” Uhh, do you remember your real friends? As much as our lives do center around technology, we’re doing nothing but good when we take a break from technology. Put down the phone, power down your laptop, and enter the present. Curl up with a good book by the fire. Go to dinner with your family. Have a tech-free game night. Little things throughout the day can make you feel more connected without feeling like you NEED your phone.

This warm and fuzzy concept isn’t new, but platforms like Pinterest and Facebook have made it more accessible to the masses.

With so many holistic concepts like natural medicine and clean eating entering the mainstream, it’s no wonder that this Danish concept has gained so much popularity. It’s almost as is society is reverting back to a simpler time, which in my opinion, can do nothing but good.

Hygge helps us stay present, centered, and focused so that we can advance and better ourselves without forgetting the things that really matter. It’s so much more than blankets and lights.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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28 Things To Write About When You Don't Know What To Write About

Because writers block happens

So it's probably no surprise to anyone that sometimes a writer has no thoughts on what to write about. This week was one of those weeks for me. So this is what I came up with for this weeks article a nice list of things that can be written about when people aren't sure what to write about.

1. Your family

2. Your significant other

3. Why you love your major

4. Why you love your minor

5. Your best friend

6. Your ex-best friend

7. Your fur baby

8. A letter to the one that got away

9. A class that you love

10. A letter to the teacher/professor that changed your life.

11. Tattoo's

12. Your job

13. What you want your future to look like

14. Life lessons that your mom taught you

15. Your hate for the modern dating scene

16. Thoughts that you have going into a new semester

17. Thoughts you have as you're about to move into your first apartment

18. Student clubs

19. Why it's important to have an organized planner

20. Reasons to eat better

21. Thoughts that you have after getting a Fitbit

22. Pet peeves

23. Why you think your letter to Hogwarts is still coming

24. Your hate for men that aren't truthful from the start on what they want

25. Why it's important to have really good friends in your life.

26. Netflix shows worth binge-watching

27. Books worth reading

28. Thoughts on things happening in the world

Hopefully next time you or I have a hard time coming up with something to write about this list will help us even if we don't use something on this list maybe it will spark something else that you can write about.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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