Two weeks ago, I was layering up with jackets and sweats every afternoon to go to soccer practice. It was an exciting week—our team had been ranked 4th, higher than we, the seniors, ever had been. It was just high enough to host our first play-off game that Thursday, against our rival team, Northwestern.
We were really, really, excited. We were having visions of GPAC championships and even nationals. Every game would be tough, sure, but doable. We’d never had a better chance to make it far into post-season.
Friday afternoon came around, and I was doing homework—or trying. We had lost our game on Thursday, 1-0. I was still feeling a little shocked and a whole lotta sad.
You know, they tell you not to put your identity in sports, but that’s a lot easier said then done. I hardly know what to do with myself now that the title that’s belonged to me for a long time – “soccer player” –no longer applies. But more than the title, I am missing everything that came with being a soccer player: walking out onto our beautiful field, joking around with the freshman, listening to coach’s endless sayings (Player: “Coach, are we playing 5v2 today?” Coach: “Is the bear Catholic?” …Still don’t get it.). I am missing the other seniors, girls who’ve I’ve played with since we were the freshmen, and everything was new. The funny thing is that it’s not like we never see each other – every once in a while we even, like, hangout. But soccer is how we became friends and where we have all our memories, so there’s a little hole there, where it was, for all of us.
Now, despite what you might think, this is not a blog-of-mourning. Because, early on this semester, another senior on the team convinced me to join the JV women’s basketball team. Ha. Yeah, I played in high school, but have barely touched the ball since. But the coach said they could use a couple more players, and I figured I needed something to do once soccer ended. And I mean, when am I ever going to have this chance again?
So I had the weekend to sit and mourn soccer, Monday to rest an minor injury, and Tuesday I (along with a few other soccer girls) was out practicing with the basketball team. I have now had three practices and as many games. Basketball has been challenging in entirely different ways than soccer – including trying to remember how to play, adjusting to a very different team culture and organization, and trying to find my place on a team that’s been playing together for a month now as a senior who won’t be back next year – and I think it’s been fun too. A just-run-up-and-down-the-court kind of fun, but still fun.
But not matter what, it’s pretty cool that I even have the opportunity to play again. And the opportunity to get to know a new group of women. And the chance to be, ahem, humbled and learn from people who are younger than me.
So there’s a little bit of my Dordt Life, and I’ll keep you posted as to how the season goes.
PC: Bryan Sakuma