It was a warm, sunny, and light-hearted afternoon. Children filled the parking lot during recess: eating dessert, gossiping in the corner, playing ball. I walked outside to join the rest of my fourth-grade classmates and decided to partake in passing around the baseball, only to be confronted with laughter from my friends. “You hate sports,” “Why would you even want to play?” Determined to prove them wrong, I gave my all. A few minutes into the game, there was a loud thud. I stumbled backward as the baseball smacked me right in the forehead.
Finding stress relieving activities on campus can be a challenge at Work Forest. This year, I told myself I would sign up for events and clubs that provide me with an escape from classes and the anxiety associated with school. During the first week, a notification that popped up on my phone provided a solution. Flag football.
I felt a strong urge to join the intramural team and spontaneously signed up. Immediately after, my memories of getting hit in the head with a baseball and my fears of field sports rose to the surface. I have never been the “athletic one,” there was no point in trying now. However, college serves as a time to step out of your comfort zone and conquer your fears.
Each team sat in distinct circles before the first flag football game on Water Tower field. My team members explained to me the rules of flag football and how to play, as that would be important to know minutes before the game. I was filled with a rush of anxiety and excitement to see how the game turns out, if I would be good, or how I could help my team. After forty minutes of exploration, determination, and fun, my team ended up winning the game and I felt my stress from the week leave my body. I had a blast.
Signing up for flag football was a quick decision that opened many doors for me. I’ve formed closer relationships, learned more about sports, and found a healthy stress reliever. I look forward to our weekly games and spending time with my team. Passing around a baseball with my friends during recess no longer controls my interests and athletic abilities.