Leaning On Each Other

Zach - La Grange, Illinois
Entered on February 19, 2008

I have recently experienced the true uplifting spirit of friendship, the steady force that supports and assists myself while facing true endeavors. Over the past Presidents Day weekend I was playing my beloved game of soccer in Arizona at a premier soccer tournament with my team. Our soccer team, the Eclipse, is a promising team that had aspiring hopes for winning the entire tournament, but those hopes were crushed in a terrible defeat in the semi-finals of this 32 team tournament. Playing our hearts out just did not seem to pay off in this nightmare, our efforts seemed to just come up short on the scoreboard, the loss eradicated our spirits and we were devastated.

Our existing reality plummeted into chaotic darkness and our perspective took a negative spin. If it was not for the unfaltering support of my team, I would still be engulfed in a cloud of anger, lost to all sensibility. It is not an easy task to improve the mood of another, especially during a time of great anger and frustration. But if there is anyone to do it, it is my team, the guys I can depend on because we are a family and they are my brothers. It is important to be able to rely on teammates; it provides a sense of security and protection. When worse comes to worse, I am never alone because my brothers are the ones next to me enduring the same hardships as I, thus there is an understanding in the amount of anguish we all felt.

After the game, I was stunned, motionless and thoughtless; it was at that time when I felt a hand on my shoulder and a reassuring voice in my ear. I bring myself to lift my chin and release my hypnotic stare at the ground. In front of me I see another of my brothers, collapsed on the ground with his hands shielding his expression of defeat in his eyes. I walk over to my woeful comrade and extend my hand to him; he looked at me square in the eyes and received my helping hand as I lifted him to his feet. Sometimes words do not need to be spoken in order for a message to be understood, I merely returned the support I had previously received but it was enough to raise up a fallen spirit.

I believe in the support of friends in the face of devastation, the reassurance gained from leaning on a shoulder of another who understands as well as the strengthening of bonds between brothers when it is my shoulder holding up another. A team is a family, a band of brothers all in it for each other in the best and worst of times. I can only thank my team for the experience I have received, a lesson learned in the true support a friend can give with an outstretched hand.