This I Believe

Kimberly - Milford, Massachusetts
Entered on January 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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I believe that playing a sport is more than the simple concept of winning or losing.

I was born on January 27, 1991—the day of the 25th Superbowl. My father tells me that I cried all day, but as soon as the football game begun, the crying was no more. It was on this day that he knew I would be an athlete. As a young girl, I did all things sports. I never owned a Barbie, never painted my room pink (too girly) and never liked my middle name (because it wasn’t athletic enough). I always had some type of a ball in my hand, and was often found in my backyard shooting hoops or playing homerun derby with anyone who would join.

Sports aren’t just about what happened in the game, who made an error, who missed the shot, who hit the winning homerun, or who got the ever cherished MVP award. Sports have taught me teamwork, which is not only valuable to me in a classroom, but in the real world.

My first practice with my new softball team I met Taylor. I don’t know what it was—but we became instant enemies. Playing softball with Taylor taught me that I am not always going to like who I work with. I learned that to please Taylor (or at least escape her verbal abuse) I must give it my all, and be the best player on the field. Now, in high school, when the dreaded assignment comes along where the teacher chooses the partners, I know I will be able to work with whoever it may be. It is not important to be best friends with everyone-but it is important to work together in a civil manner.

As a catcher and a former point guard, my athletic life was all about decision making. A catcher needs to know everything about the batter from the way she swings, to her pitch selection. A point guard has little-to-no time to decide to drive the lane, dish the ball, or shoot the 3.

Playing these high pressure positions taught me that I need to make good choices, whether it be the classes I choose to take, the friends I choose to associate myself with, and the peer pressure I choose to resist.

A few years ago, while catching, I faced a detrimental injury and missed my sophomore field hockey and basketball seasons. The injury taught me that you really don’t know what you have until it is gone. Since then, I have learned to cherish every moment I spend on the field or in the gym, because at any moment it could be gone. If it were not for the fateful injury, I would have never learned one of life’s greatest lessons.

I believe that sports bring people together, and give life meaning. Now, as I lace my cleats to take the field as I did before the injury, I believe that there is no greater day.