Student-Athlete Column: Missing Competition

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For some, the biggest drawback of the pandemic is missing the opportunity to compete with one another. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Gigi Speer, Staff Writer

Okay, so let’s cut to the chase. We’ve been home for over a month, and (not to sound like a broken record) I miss campus. 

In addition to the lovely Rose Hill campus and class and friends, I miss having scheduled practice, scoreboards, strength and conditioning workouts and being around the 19 most competitive people I know. 

In the fall, we competed amongst ourselves in the “OKC Challenge” and had a seven-week long contest to represent the seven innings of a game. We split into three teams, and a Hunger Games-level ruthless competition ensued. Dripping sweat and heaving for air, we pushed sleds, sprinted the fastest we could and fought to be the winning team. 

Whether my team won or not (maybe I’ll reveal that in the next column), I miss the fiery feeling of feuding on and off the field. I miss being enveloped in an environment that promoted such passion and prodigious performances. I miss playing games with a great group of girls. 

This weekend, we would have been in Philadelphia playing against the St. Joseph’s Hawks. The last time we played them, we dominated them in six innings. It was a dance fueled by pure heart and competition. After losing to them by a meager two runs in the first game of our A-10 tournament, the flame I was talking about before was ignited like someone poured lighter fluid on it. We showed no mercy and put them away on our road to winning our seventh straight title. 

Instead, we are competing virtually. The Fordham Strength and Conditioning department posts weekly challenges, we play Kahoot! against each other and compete against ourselves and our siblings. 

But nothing beats those seven innings. 

To fuel your own fire and to translate seven innings to seven days of the week is the new game plan. Our seven-week OKC challenge is now a personal seven-month challenge to be ready to compete against each other come fall time.

These uncertain times mean finding inspiration, remembering the spirit of competition by remembering old games or watching the Michael Jordan documentary. It means competing with your past self and making sure you’re getting better every day. It means looking forward to better days and getting back to your roots as a kid with a dream.