If you never try, you’ll never know – Coldplay
More than just a game
In a family of five, I find myself at the bottom, youngest and loudest. But to keep myself occupied I needed something in my life to keep me interested, which is where I found soccer. Starting as just a mere hobby led to more than just a simple act of exercise, it transformed into a passion of mine. I still remember the game of soccer, when I was 10 years old, which really drove me to make a commitment towards playing soccer for the rest of my life.
“Ready to go? Kiddo.”
I gazed into the eyes of my coach and replied, “Born ready.”
My coach said back to me, “Get out there and put up a fight. Win or lose, we still learn no matter what.”
Hot as a firecracker, I strolled onto the field. I remember gliding with the wind, feeling the breeze fly into my face, causing a large feeling of adrenaline to surge through my body. Before this game, all I thought about was winning, but now all I thought about was trying my best, and disregarding the outcome. As the game ended and my team lost, I still learned a valuable lesson. Something you can only gain from soccer.
Our coach brings us in and says, “You win, you earn, you lose, you learn boys… We may have lost the fight but we did not lose the drive to win”
At this instance, I learned that soccer was more than just a game, but it taught valuable lessons that would help me down the road in my life.
Everyone plays basketball at least one time in their life, right? I remember in elementary school that was my “bread and butter.” I Finish class, go to recess and play basketball with my friends. But to be specific, it was lightning. Lightning was by far the most popular basketball game to play because of how quick and simple it was. You shoot the ball, and if you miss you keep trying to make it, but if the person behind you makes it before you do, you’re out. Another reason why I liked this game is that I found high success when playing. I found pure joy out of the destruction of my peers in lightning. After finishing class for the second time around and going to lunch, I would once again, play lightning. Nothing beats lightning when you want to play something with a basketball.
Across the Court
I think I was seven at the time, bright and young. My parents had been experimenting with what sport I should be playing and by this time they had enrolled me into tennis lessons.
“Great!” I said.
After so far playing basketball and soccer it seems that my next endeavor would be tennis. In the beginning, tennis was a breeze. Nothing was boring or complicated and it felt like it was just about having enjoyment. Now the one thing I remember so vividly to this day was how much I despised the sport because of one thing. My coach would say the same thing to me over and over again to the point my ears felt like they would fall off.
“Across the court Nathan!” said my coach.
I will say that tennis is a very fun and simple sport that has its fun moments but to me, I feel like any chance of playing it to a higher level as I got older was ruined by my coach.
Baseball, But it’s Soccer?
Have you ever heard of kickball? I know some have and some haven’t. Let me explain it to you so you understand. Kickball is like playing baseball, except you replace all throwing actions with kicking, and you use a handball instead of a baseball. If someone is pitching you the ball, you are going to kick hard as a bull, not hit it with a bat. Throughout elementary school, I was given the delightful opportunity to learn of this game and play it throughout the years. There was something about this game that was just so “hype” and brought so much energy around all the kids. Once teachers began getting involved in the game is when things got even spicier. Being a soccer player at heart, maybe that’s why I found this game so fun. Kicking just came naturally to me, so when I would walk out and dominate the enemy team, you could say I felt good. Although to this day I never play kickball, it’s a game I would like to play again and most definitely a game I will never forget.
Jealousy by Fish?
Being raised in Fountain Valley, I never really found fishing as a hobby. The only time I went fishing was when I visited my Aunt and Uncle in Victorville because they had a pond right outside their house. I was never really one who participated in the activities as I would rather spectate and enjoy the show. While everything was getting set up for the fishing, my cousins all pestered me and begged me to fish with them. Finally, I submit to them and agreed. My cousin Leila was just like me, she had never fished and was not keen on the idea of fishing. When we began to throw our fishing rods into the pond, nothing happened. The lines stayed completely still for the next five minutes until *JOLT*. Something began to pull on my line. Little did I know Leila’s line had also been hooked onto something. We both eyed each other and began reeling.
“I’m going to get the fish first, Leila!” I said.
“In your dreams Nathan!” She replied.
As the line began to reel closer I suddenly felt nothing. Whatever had been latched onto my hook had disappeared. On the other side, Leila had reeled in an enormous fish. The feeling of jealousy spread through me like chicken pox. I have never felt this jealous and defeated in my life. I began to whine and complain, being the naive kid I was at the time. That day I learned what it was like to be jealous, but it also taught me how to deal with jealousy. There will not always be an opportunity for you at the time, but there will always be one in the future.
In a world of sports, there’s bound to be variations of different sports. A game that I remember vividly was a variation of tennis, called pickleball. Although not being a huge fan of tennis, pickleball was a sport I found absolute pleasure playing. Pickleball was a game where stress could be emptied and laughter can be left out. What began as a fun game turned into a bonding activity where I could talk to people and have fun. Pickleball is like tennis except you are using paddles and a wiffle to replace a racquet and a tennis ball. I remember playing a two on two match with my friend Ryan against two other of our peers and we annihilated them as if tomorrow did not exist. A lesson that pickleball taught me was that there are many ways you can deal with your problems and to be more relaxed and free.
2 thoughts on “Around The Sports Circle”
This blog post was extremely fun to read. Hearing about your experiences in a past, I felt a sense of nostalgia for the similar times I experienced as a kid as well. It really made me want to go back out there and play kickball with my classmates again from elementary school. Good times.
In your writing, I saw some connections between us. I am also the youngest in my family and use sports as kind of a way out.