I had a column written for this week. It was about dancing. It was okay, nothing I would call inspired. I couldn’t finish it, though.
You see, my goal for this column has been to write about what I hear talked about, or what happens to be swirling around my mind that week. On Sunday morning, I was not in a mood to finish discussing how fun it is to dance. Consider this column a self-serving, therapeutic device.
The men’s basketball team, of which I am privileged to be a part, lost Saturday night to Springfield in the NCAA tournament. Our season is over. It ended, as they tend to do, more abruptly than anyone had planned. To be honest, it hasn’t quite hit me yet. It probably won’t until the first weekday where my body starts gearing up at four in the afternoon, as it is physically conditioned to do, but now I am sitting on my butt watching Footloose on HBO 3. It’s a long way down.
The intent of this column is not to contemplate solely my personal experience with basketball, it just happens to be my frame of reference. Lots of people at this school play on sports teams. The people who play these sports are very emotionally and physically invested in them. We are good at these sports we play, thus we compete against the best competition at our level every year. Higher highs mean lower lows. Not every one of our teams can finish the season with a win. So there are people out there nodding their head affirmatively while they read right now.
There is no specific order to how or when the frustration and sadness comes. One definite thing is that I feel blessed to have played three years with the seniors on my team. It hasn’t registered that I don’t get to play with them anymore. The problem is that I know at some point it’s going to get better, and that allows me, almost pushes me, to keep this process from happening too quickly.
It’s like you’re not doing the experience justice if you recover too quickly from this kind of situation. I know that probably doesn’t sound like the best attitude, and I’m not about to spiral into a depression or anything, but for now I am letting the disappointment balance out lingering aggression at an opportunity lost.
Conversely, part of me wants to put the whole season into perspective and see that we were very successful, and not allow the way it ended to diminish in any way the team and individual triumphs that occurred. This is what you have to do. As a junior, it makes me realize how fast the whole thing goes by. Just yesterday I was a skinny freshman learning how to play the game in college (no longer a freshman, the other differences are debatable). Four years seems like a long time, and probably feels like a long time, but the end of your career always comes too quickly.
I guess the big point is that, for all the moaning I’ve done previously about our weight room or NESCAC rules, it seems like it might be time to recognize that there is something going on at this school that is very good. The camaraderie and team spirit across the board on our athletic teams is incredible. It is remarkable to witness and be a part of, and it is something that the people and coaches at this school have created. And something that I didn’t want to end Saturday.