Starting at age five and through high school, I was pretty athletic. I played a sport every season, sometimes two. My favorites were always soccer and basketball, though I tried nearly everything, from field hockey to gymnastics. By the time I got to college, I was pretty burnt out and ready for something new. B-league intramural soccer was as close to organized sports as I came my freshman year, and it was a welcome change. It was weird at first not to have my life dictated by practices and games, but once I got used to it, I really enjoyed having more free time to pursue other things. I became really involved in volunteering and other clubs, and generally had more time to focus on friends and schoolwork.
After some time off, however, I realized that I did miss sports. I missed feeling the nervous excitement before a big game, pushing myself at a challenging practice, spending time with a group of teammates. There was no way I’d want or be able to play a varsity sport, yet I wanted something more organized and intense than intramurals, so I decided a club sport would be the way to go. That’s another thing I really love about the University of Rochester. My old school didn’t have very many club sports at all, but here we have a ton. I decided to join the club squash team because I’d played a few times before and really enjoyed it, I knew someone on the team who loved it, and many of my teammates are also pretty new to the sport, so I wouldn’t be too far behind. We practice twice a week (SO much better than the six days a week I did in high school!), and it’s really fun! Squash is an amazing stress reliever; after a long day of classes, there is nothing better than being able to smack a ball against a wall as hard as I can. I’ve also felt myself improving as the semester progresses (not hard, considering how little experience I had before!), which is super exciting and encouraging.
This past weekend, we had our first match. Because there aren’t too many other schools with club squash, we played against a varsity team! Needless to say, we were all pretty intimidated when they walked in with their matching uniforms, jackets, and shoes and started their well-organized warm-up routine. During the actual match, I managed to get a few points here and there, but let’s be honest, my opponent crushed me. I still had a ton of fun though, and it was so nice to be able to just play without a coach yelling from the sidelines like in high school and without worrying too much about the final outcome. Seeing how good the other team was also encouraged me to continue practicing and improving, and it was fun to hang out with and cheer on my teammates. Overall, I love squash, and I can’t wait for our next practice!