Why My Love For Sports Is a Healthy Obsession

Why My Love For Sports Is a Healthy Obsession

From making friends to becoming an avid fan, sports have become a part of who I am.
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How do you describe something that is a part of you? Something that you love so much, you literally cannot live without it? It becomes difficult to put into words what that thing means to you. For me, that thing is the world of sports.

I can't pinpoint one specific thing that led to this obsession. No one in my family possesses the passion for athletics that I do, so it certainly didn't come from growing up in a sports family. Sure, both my parents and my sisters played sports at some point in their lives, and three of them are still avid runners, but watching a sporting event together or sitting and having a two-hour discussion over Ohio State football is not something that happened often. So where did this addiction come from?

My earliest memories of getting involved in the sporting world were playing tee-ball and soccer. I still remember the name of my first baseball team, the Marlins (after the Florida Marlins, who play in Miami); and my first soccer team which was coached by my own father. At such a young age, (it was the typical age for most kids to try their first sports) I was eager to learn new things, even though none of us had any clue what we were doing. Kids often play as many sports as possible before the age of 10 or so.

Playing in local recreation leagues, I played both soccer and baseball until around the age of 11. It was then that I decided baseball would be my main focus. Despite the fact that I dropped soccer entirely, I continued to try new things in addition to focusing on baseball. I played basketball in a rec league for a few years, ran track in seventh and eighth grade, and ran cross country in eighth grade as well. I decided to stop playing baseball after playing on the freshman team in high school, and ended up switching to just running entirely my junior year.

The fact that I played all of these different sports only further proves my indecisive nature, but I also grew as a person through these experiences. They say that kids who participate in sports often do better in school academically, and I absolutely believe this is true. Sports teach young adults the values of dedication, discipline, teamwork, communication and so many other things. In addition to that, I met some of my best friends during my time on these teams. In senior year, my best friend on the cross country team and I were dubbed "The Super Intergalactic Commander Captains." Tell me that doesn't sound like true friendship.

Sports bring people together for a common cause, whether those people are players or runners or just simply avid fans. Being a fan of a team, like the Buckeyes, honestly makes you a part of a cult, because there's really no better way to describe a crazed fan base. Gathering in one area, Ohio Stadium, on Saturdays and cheering on a group of athletes to score touchdowns and run each other over is really bizarre when you truly think about it, but it's what we crave. The adrenaline rush of hearing the crowd roar and the feeling of being part of something greater than yourself is a feeling unlike any other that I've ever experienced.

Some of the most vivid memories I have are of sporting events: my first Ohio State football game against Illinois in 2005, traveling to East Lansing to watch Ohio State play Michigan State, the Ohio State vs Michigan game in 2014, watching the Buckeyes win the title on national television, etc. The list goes on and on, and people honestly think I'm crazy sometimes for how much time and energy I put into following sports. I've felt some of my biggest emotional swings during sporting events (like the game against Michigan State this past season in football), but I wouldn't have it any other way.

But sometimes, it's not the rush of adrenaline or the group setting I crave. Rather, it's the escape. When life becomes overwhelming on occasion, running has always been there for me even when I feel like I'm alone. The release of emotion on the open trail during a long run or simply going out and trying to go as hard as possible to let off steam is unparalleled. There are times when everyone needs to be alone, and sports have provided me with that safe space to express myself. There has never been a time in my life when a run hasn't solved my feelings of stress and anxiety.

Friends, excitement, adrenaline, escape, feelings of belonging. All of these things describe why I love sports, and those hardly scratch the surface. It took until my sophomore year of college to realize that I was meant to do things related to athletics for the rest of my life. I went from dreading my next criminal justice class to enjoying going to my next sport industry class ready to discuss the latest sports issues and how they can affect the future of my profession.

Some people give me a funny look when I tell them what my major is and ask where I want to go in life, but that doesn't bother me. Sports affect all of our lives in ways that some people don't even realize. They reflect society's greatest issues and triumphs, and that's what makes them such a spectacle. Naysayers may say that the world could live without sports, but I would disagree. I'm in the field where I'm meant to be, and sports will never stop being such an integral part of who I am.

Cover Image Credit: Nick Christie

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The New 'Special One' Returns (Again) To Real Madrid

Soccer fans across the globe question what Zidane will be able to accomplish this time with a Madrid side that has faced many issues this season.

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On March 11, Spanish club Real Madrid announced that they would be firing former manager Santiago Solari and replace him with Zinedine Zidane immediately. This marks a second reign of leadership the Frenchman will have with the club as coach (he managed Real Madrid from the 2016-2018 seasons which resulted in nine trophies). Zidane left in May of 2018 just days after he helped secure a third consecutive Champions League title. This was the last time football fans and supporters ever saw Real Madrid on top of Europe. Since then, things have gone South for the Spanish giants.

The defending champions have been knocked out of both the Copa Del Rey and Champions League competitions. The La Liga club is also 12 points behind league leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona (which only adds more pain). Saying things have fallen apart at Real Madrid is an understatement. I can't think of many moments in which the team was this low. Real Madrid is one of (if not) the biggest soccer club in the world. They are more than a club. It's an iconic, brand-name powerhouse which has always had a long history of success.

So, seeing them lose over and over again is a weird thing to witness as a football fan. In my opinion, I think Zidane will alleviate some of Madrid's issues to a certain degree. I am almost 100 percent sure he will be able to fix the chemistry issues in the locker room. Players on the team have mentioned how much they enjoy playing for Zidane. He brings out the best in the squad and every player is content with their involvement on the field. Now I'm not going to be unrealistic and say Zidane is going to win Champions League for Real Madrid next season, but you never know.

The key thing to watch in the off-season is how much money Real Madrid is willing to spend. They have historically always been big spenders in the transfer window periods. To me, that is the crucial component of whether or not things will turn around for the club. Money (and lots of it) most of the time equals success in sports. Team President Florentino Perez has to open up his checkbook and allow Zidane to go all-out to get whatever he needs to change things at Real Madrid. If this happens, I have no doubts in my mind that Los Blancos will eventually return to being on top of the world.

All I know is that if Zidane restores the glory days at Real Madrid, people should start calling him "the special one" and not Jose Mourinho anymore.

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