Dear high school seniors: Remember this feeling
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The preseason is always full of promise.
Every team is fueled by passion and positivity. What happened last year isn’t relevant. Anything is possible. Anyone could win a title.
In the spring, the feeling that something good is on the horizon is heightened. The feeling of warmth on skin increases each day, and graduation creeps closer every week. Every practice feels like it’s leading to something big. Something important.
That hope, those emotions, are stored in each athlete, building like potential energy, ready to be converted into kinetic energy with the first game, the first meet.
High school spring sport teams are frozen in that state, endlessly wondering what the season will hold. That energy bouncing inside of them with nowhere to go.
Soak in that eternal optimism. Remember this feeling. Memorize it. Learn it like a habit. That sense of being on the cusp of greatness doesn’t have to go away. You can live in that feeling.
Sure, sports are over for most people after high school, but that feeling can apply to anything.
That determination to be better, that drive to succeed and that desire to be there for your teammates can be carried over to college and to life.
But for now, let’s just stick with sports.
That gut feeling that this spring was going to be great, it’s not wrong. It was going to be filled with long, exhausting bus rides filled with laughter. With sideline screams, high fives, hugs and maybe some tears. Regardless of record, it was going to be great, and it always will be.
This season will never be tainted by blowouts or disappointing performances. A late lead will never be wiped out, a rivalry game never relinquished. A player will never experience pain or be carted off the field.
Then again, there won’t be any nail biters, no overtime wins, no comeback kids. Revenge won’t be sought, records won’t be broken, banners won’t be hung.
When the spring season was officially canceled, I’m sure it felt like a balloon bursting. The excitement and nervousness and remnants of hope for a season exploded into the room, while you sat there, deflated.
Thankfully, you all had the proper time to realize that fall sports were ending. You had the chance to acknowledge the final race or the last team dinner and savor it. A few teams were able to end winter in the same fashion, but not all.
I hope that referring to that closure helps you find some with spring sports. I hope running, working out, holding a lacrosse stick or throwing a baseball helps. I hope knowing that you’re so close to graduating and beginning the next phase of your life helps.
I won’t pretend to know what you’re going through. I can’t even imagine the loss you are all experiencing, even those who don’t play sports.
Your entire life has been leading to senior year, prom, graduation. It’s a period of time that songs and movies are written about, and you don’t get to experience it.
For that, I am so sorry.
But you do get the rest of life and this is like practice. Waking up and digging deep for motivation to put on clothes and “go” to school is like working on your self-discipline. More weight falls on you to create a plan and follow through.
These weeks that you’re home is like a warm-up for college, for the workforce, for whatever comes next. This is the preseason of life.
And the preseason is always full of promise.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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