Being a Spring Athlete
Since 2014, when I was in the 5th grade, my spring was flooded with many lacrosse games and practices. Once I fell in love with lacrosse after my first spring season, I began playing year round club lacrosse. I would train all summer, fall, and winter looking forward to the spring lacrosse season where I could compete for Kentucky Country Day School with my very best friends. Sometimes, lacrosse could become stressful, especially as I aged and the spring semester of school got increasingly harder. I learned a lot about time management by playing lacrosse and balancing schoolwork. Lacrosse has been there for me to use as an outlet in my best times, and my worst times. The best memories have been created because of lacrosse. For the first two years of highschool I worked hard enough to make varsity, and was led by a strong group of upperclassmen. My first two high school seasons will forever have a special place in my heart. From winning state in 2018, to suffering a crushing loss in the semifinals in 2019, each and every memory has an importance to me. I’ll admit I thought it was going to be hard to come into the 2020 season without the graduated seniors, but nonetheless, I was determined to work hard to take back the state title.
For months me and my teammates prepared for the 2020 lacrosse season. We prepared intensely both mentally and physically. It was hard, but our 2020 squad had such a special bond that every tough conditioning day was made fun. I was beyond excited for the 2020 season. I was finally an upperclassmen, it was my time to show strong leadership. I had worked my butt off in the off season, sacrificing my weekends and holiday breaks for lacrosse clinics in Chicago, Michigan, Maryland, and Florida. I was so beyond excited it was hard to contain, and all my teammates seemed to feel the same way. Consistently everyone lifted each other up, and pushed each other. In the opening scrimmage we worked together to pull out a win against another top team. Everything was looking up for us. The adrenaline kicked in to all of our systems. Finally, it was our time to show we were going to take our state title back.
As soon as the season started, it seemed to end. Corona halted all school and athletics. Hearing this news was soul crushing. Overwhelming thoughts of “but this was our season,” and even a little more selfishly, “this was my season,” flooded my head. I couldn’t believe for two weeks we couldn’t have games, practices, or even team runs. I think I did a good job of encouraging my teammates to stay engaged, and not overthink anything too much, but I was unable to encourage myself. For the early stages of our “corona break” I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. I know it seems strange that a sport could cause this much impact on my mood, but lacrosse is such a huge part of my life. After a terrible day at school, I could always count on going to lacrosse practice with my twenty-four best friends, and smiling, laughing, and releasing stress. I felt like that outlet had been taken from me. I wanted to compete so very badly, yet I couldn’t. I felt stuck.
Luckily that rut only lasted for a couple days, and then I told myself to control the controllables. I think that is all any of us can do in this strange time. It is so easy to stay inside all day, but believe me don’t. I’ve been outside everyday playing wall ball, running, walking, doing footwork. I know me and my teammates have all been continuously working hard. This virus isn’t going to take our work ethic and spirit. School won’t start up again for another month (that’s the plan at the moment) , but you can’t dwell on that for too long. We will all get past this.
To all my fellow spring athletes that are feeling all different emotions right now, I understand, I see you, I’m sorry. This won’t define you or your team. Use this break as a way to only better yourself mentally and physically. Learn to never take your sport for granted. I know I definitely have. The next time my coach says, get on the line, or we are headed to the track I won’t mumble or think to myself that I would rather not be doing a hard run, instead I’ll be thankful we are all able bodied athletes participating in the sport we love the most in this world.
To my lacrosse team, or more like my lacrosse family, I’ll see you soon! :)