Throughout my four years of high school I have been involved in a newly founded girls lacrosse team, the first program to have a varsity team south of Peachtree City, Georgia. Over the years my respect for not only the sport but for my teammates has made me realize that I strongly believe in family. No, I am not related to them in any way; however, the friendships created on our team have developed into some of the best friendships I have ever had. I will always consider these girls to be a part of my family, and this year’s varsity team will always hold a special place in my heart.
Family is conditioning for three straight months before the season even starts. It is barely being able to climb the three-storied stairwell during the school day because of how hard we all had worked the previous day. All in all, we do everything together. Family is driving an hour and a half on a bus just to play a game and play it well. It is eating dinner afterwards together, win or lose, and enjoying each other’s company regardless of what was on the scoreboard.
Family is relying on your ‘sisters’ to have your back on the field and knowing that after every game everyone had given it their all. It is walking around school on days of games and chanting ‘game day’ as you pass each other in the hall. Family is dancing around in a circle before each game to loosen up and yet at the same time knowing that we would all be out on the field ten minutes later playing a serious game.
I believe that my family is strong – as one heartbeat – which we have been called to represent our closeness and the reality that we play together, we learn together, and we are strong together. Family is when your coach calls you the five fingers of a hand to show that you cannot function on the field without each part, without each other.
As a team we made a commitment that for the first time ever we would make it to the state playoffs, and as a family we made it happen after a dedicated season. We all share a strong bond that has helped us to achieve so much more than anyone would have ever expected from a team with so little experience. This is my family, my lacrosse family, and because of them I will always believe in what the word family actually means.