Monday, September 5, 2011

Wanting A Sport

My ideal sport? Mountain biking.
©2008-2009 Sports Desktop Wallpaper
There's a world I've yet to visit, and it's been right next to me all these years. It's the world of public school sports.

My "sport" has been the same one for far too long: a now trite pursuit of academic excellence. I always strove to get good grades, to please my teachers ... but you can only do the same one thing for so many years.

That's where a true, physical challenge - usually called a sport - should've come in. One of the strengths of most American public high schools is their ability to offer free sports programs, with some schools offering greater variety than others: mine for example, offers everything from football to bowling and all those sports in between.

Yet it's only now that I realize how much joining a sport can do for you, how much it can mean to you.

It's not just my parents or friends urging me to get fit or stay healthy.

It's not something tangible like that.

There's just something inexplicably alluring, unintelligibly pleasing, and absolutely magical about participating in a public school sport: things like practice after school, the camaraderie and friendships that come of it, the actual thrill of competing, the physical workout, the knowledge that you're doing something worthwhile, and the respite it provides from an unrelenting stream of academic obstacles.

The social, the mental functions are what I seek above all else. Participating in such a thing provides a worthwhile distraction from an occasionally uninspiring life of academia. It pleases you on completely different levels. It's exciting, it's difficult, it's fun. And best of all it almost guarantees close friendships - people who sweat together can usually relate to one another, don't you think?

And I know the sports world is a world of its own because it comes with all the things necessary for a world: its own people, its own rules and regulations, its own distinct culture and character, its own requirements for entry and success.

I just can't believe I've never gone to visit.

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