Sports Behind the Door of Fame

June 1, 2012
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To be underestimated in the sports world is worse than it appears. Too often one recieves a quizzical look or a tilt of the head when they mention an elusive sport that they play. Basketball, baseball, soccer... Those were all too mainstream for me. As long as I remember, I always took an interest in the most remote of sports.
Neither of my parents were/are very sporty. My mom describes running and physical exertion as a mountain she cannot surmount. My father expresses the same, despite being a skilled volleyball player in college. I stand above both of their slight, pale frames at five feet six. I suppose it was their initial shyness towards mainstream sports that sparked an interest for me in the sports I play now.
I swam on club teams religiously when I was younger. True, swimming is definitely known in the sports world. Who does not recognize the name 'Michael Phelps'? But then again, many more people will know the rules of a baseball game versus the rules for a swim meet. We are definitely under-represented under the eyes of the media. It's a shame because few know the harsh, bleak, exhausting life of a swimmer.
I started fencing when I was eleven, even though my only reason was to "try something unique and weird and un-girly". Slowly, I fell in love with the elegance and physically demanding challenges of the sport. It worked my mind as well as my body, and that unique combination has failed to appear in any other sport I have seen or tried. There is just undeniable charm in the elation following a well positioned stab in your opponent's chest.
Water polo is the last and final sport I have tried so far in my life. I am not going to lie and say it was a breeze and that anyone can do it. I almost fainted during the five hour practices we had in our first two weeks of tryouts, but the main point lies behind the exhaustion. I am so glad I tried this sport or I never would have experienced the adrenaline that rushes through you when the 170 pound girl guarding you tries to push you underwater with her muscular legs. I never would've braved the countless cuts, black bruises, and black eyes I recieved from playing the sport. And aside from the violence, I never would've experienced the crazy amount of heart and bonding the team shares with each other. I do believe the chlorine in some way acts like a soothing drug to us. When twenty girls spend three hours a day in a home where they sweat, cry, and laugh together, nothing can tear them apart.
To sum it up, the media definitely misses out on these three wonderful sports. They pack just as much heart and guts as any other sport, and maybe even more. If these sports impacted my life so much, I'm sure others will be affected just as heavily. Sure, basketball is fancy, but what's not to love about stab bruises, suit tans, and the pungent odor of chlorine?

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