This I Believe

Kimberly - Palatine, Illinois
Entered on May 11, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: community, sports

This I Believe

Not many people can say that they have already experienced the defining moment of their life. I am happy to be among those who haven’t. I can, however, assert that my experiences on the Fremd lacrosse team have defined me as a person. It not only taught me how to make life-long bonds, but it also continues to show me how to be a leader and take charge of situations without being forceful. Lacrosse is what I look forward to most every year, as well as what I know I will miss most about leaving for college.

On the lacrosse field, I have enjoyed the most extreme feeling of camaraderie I have ever experienced. Having never played a sport or been part of a team, founding our school’s women’s lacrosse team my freshman year was new and exhilarating. After starting a petition and getting what seemed like countless signatures of support, the school finally rewarded our efforts. The responsibility for this team rested solely on the shoulders of those girls who were starting it. This unprecedented act of building a sport from the ground up was something all of us were proud of.

Although we were not allowed to play games against other schools our first and second years as a team, on a regular basis, fifty girls were showing up to the practices held a mile away from the school on a make-shift lacrosse field. Being one of the more knowledgeable players because of camps and workshops I previously attended for lacrosse, I was often expected to lead drills and help out the new players. This was without a doubt the best part of my lacrosse experience. Being a “Big Sister” was one of the most rewarding experienced I have ever had.

The atmosphere of being a family was ever increasing as the second season began. I will never forget the study groups we formed, the friendships that were made, and the lessons learned all because we were a part of this team. Never once was there a feeling of being left out or the intense sense of competition found on many other teams. Wearing our ridiculous hot-pink matching shirts to school on days we were going to have a big scrimmage was a bonding experience I won’t ever forget.

It was not until the third season of lacrosse that things began to change. Since it was now distinguished as a true Fremd sport, only a set number of girls were allowed to be on the team. Practices were now taken much more seriously since we would actually be playing seven games that year, which excited us all to no end. There’s a lot to be said for being the only school in our district to have a girls lacrosse team, but the lack of experience on the field proved we still had a lot to learn. Our coach would often remark that on the bus ride home, it was impossible to tell if we had won or lost. Winning and losing together reinforced the feeling of sisterhood that pervaded the team.

Thrown together scrimmages in the rain on Saturday afternoons, the team parties, and having the absolute certainty that I could call any girl on the team and ask for help and receive it was the defining feeling of my lacrosse experience. I believe that passion, commitment, perseverance and constructive leadership are essential ingredients to a successful outcome. I believe that the days that we had practice are the days of high school that will never be forgotten, the faces and names of my teammates are the ones that will stay with me forever, and the smiles and laughs shared are the moments that I hold most dear to my heart. The skills and life-lessons learned while playing on this team have made me completely believe in the power of one, and has taught me life lessons that I will carry with me forever.