Back in September, I blogged about how I joined Queen's SGPS Grad Student Intramural Dodgeball Team. While my first post about dodgeball wasn't the most positive, glowing review of our intramural league, I'm happy to report that our Fall and Winter seasons were incredibly entertaining, competitive, but most importantly... we had fun. It was, truly, quite the experience.
Okay. Well, granted, we lost every game we played this semester. Minor details.
Okay, fine. If we need to press the issue, I'll admit that we were That Team. The Team That Always Lost. But, moving on. Let's forget the measly details of actual competition. Let's get down to why, in retrospect, I'm so glad I joined dodgeball this year.
I was pretty skeptical about joining dodgeball back in September. Because really, have you met me? The only sports I've ever been good at involved a tennis racket or a pair of figure skates. Other than that, I've been merely serviceable at impromptu basketball games or softball games I participated (read: was coerced) in.
However, my perspective on sport changed when I played ball hockey regularly over the summer. Apparently, I have the capacity to get pretty aggressive, yo. Whipping around a stick to aggressively score goals? I absolutely loved it. And I will shamelessly announce that I was awesome at street hockey. Which is why I considered participating in some sort of contact sport this year.
Fast forward to this past Thursday evening. Our last dodgeball game of the year. Cue the tears. Cue the team hugs. Cue the whipping out of my camera to take team pictures.
We met at the Grad Club to participate in Thursday night's Trivia Night, broke bread (read: ate junk food), played pool, and attempted to answer trivia questions that downright confused us. And, not surprisingly, the boys of the team walked the amusing road towards inebriation with pitchers of alcoholic beverages.
Right before our dodgeball game.
Do you see where this is going?
Let's do the math. Teetering levels of sobriety and a sport that involves bombarding others with balls? Incredibly amusing, to say the least. Josephine and I, the only female members of the team, were highly entertained by watching our lovely team members frolicking under the influence. And so, our last game turned out to be quite epic. Choreographed dance numbers, Justin Beiber impersonations, piggyback rides as ball-throwing strategies.
And the dance numbers. Don't forget the dance numbers. Complete with throwback disco moves. Does this sound awesome or does this sound awesome?
We came to the game without any expectation of winning (and, really, who are we kidding, winning was a long shot for us). We headed to our last game together with the sole intention of having fun, and I'm glad that's how we ended our season. Such motivations defined our year together. Dodgeball hasn't only been a good workout, it's been an arena where I've met incredibly great friends. Where I've met grad students who I wouldn't have encountered if I hadn't joined the team. And most importantly, it's where I had fun, away from the piles of work that haunt me during the day.
I really encourage all of you to consider joining a sports team sometime, be it in school or in your community. It's not solely a competitive experience. It's also a social arena, where you build friendships, connect with a team, and experience the enjoyment of playing a sport that you may discover you actually enjoy.
But now, alas, the season has drawn to a close. I'm sad to say that's it for dodgeball. But here we are. Thank you, Dodgeball Team. You've been the greatest. I'm so glad I had the chance to meet every single one of you. I'm so glad I took the chance to experience this.
This has been, ultimately, another wonderful, memorable Queen's experience that I'll never forget, no matter where I am next year.
"You can’t hide from life. Eventually, you have to live it."
"Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand."
- Emily Kimbrough
"Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, dont worry. I'm here. The flood waters will recede. The famine will end. The sun will shine tomorrow. And I will always be here to take care of you."
- Charlie Brown to Snoopy