Lacrosse, per NCAA definition, is a “spring” sport. I know it’s February and there’s snow on the ground outside my window, but games have started so to me, it’s spring.
Five years ago, I’d be cranking through classes all day before a team lift (always legs on Monday), then I’d put in 2.5 hours battling through drills on a turf field on the roof of the Brown gymnasium, (Yes, on the roof. No, it wasn’t cool. It was cold, windy, and half the field was covered in building exhaust… ok, yeah, we sort of relished it), then we’d head inside to watch game film for 30 minutes and finally sit in the ice bath to soak up the soreness.
The coolest part was I did all of this surrounded by 40 other guys who all had the same mission as I - win game #1. Then #2, #3, #4 and so on…
These days, my competitive career is entirely different.
I probably stay more active in lacrosse than my teammates on the NYAC. Already this year I took a trip to Miami to play in a tournament. I had a blast playing with some other amazing players, the competition was solid and I even took an 80mph shot in the ribs that has been painfully reminding me of the trip for a month now. (Seriously, this bruised rib is one of the most nagging injuries I’ve ever had).
And last weekend, I headed back to Brown with some other alums for a preseason scrimmage against the current Bears team (Unsurprisingly, Providence hadn’t warmed up since I graduated. Wind chill had the temp around 7 degrees). Still, it was a great day and us veterans were able to pull out a close win over the young pups.
The win was fun for a moment, but there was still a fundamental lacking for me and I’m realizing how much I miss the bonding of a team working towards a common goal and the inherently high level of competition on a daily basis.
Sure, when my NYAC team starts up soon we will all be focused on winning our 4th straight A.L.L. Championship, but we don’t even practice. We just show up on Sundays and play. It’s easier on the calendar, but I know deep down every teammate of mine, and every true competitor out there, needs that battle and that feeling of true team.