There are few feelings I remember more from high school sports than the feeling of sitting on the bus traveling to a game and knowing I was not going to play.
See – I was quite good at lacrosse, but I was pretty awful at soccer. So during soccer season I often ended up riding to games with the team and sitting on the bench the whole time when we got there.
On the bus, it was a feeling of relaxation, but I hated it. Knowing that everyone around me was going to be playing and I was not. They were going to be representing our school and I was going to sit on the bench. The pressure was off me – which was relieving, but at the same time it was the worst feeling in the world.
Such a bizarre paradox of relief and disappointment.
At the time, sitting on those old yellow school busses as they rattled and rumbled to the opposing school’s address, I remember thinking a lot about how I felt.
Even way back then, the decision to me was clear: I’ll take the feeling of pressure any day over the relief of sitting on the bench. After all, life is short – and there are only so many games you get to play.