The sun is low in the sky. It’s just rising. The morning is cold but not as cold as your fingers. You breathe in the smell of fresh grass and take a good look at the red Sherrin in your hands.
Ahhh. Footy training with the girls.
Now I’ve been lucky enough to be at Ormond for three years, but never – and I repeat never – have I made a sporting team. Now you may think this could be through lack of trying. It’s not. And it’s not through lack of athleticism. Temple sculpting saw to that. *See archived Ormondian article circa 2012. But now that my time at Ormond is quickly coming to an end, I’ve set myself the goal of making the girls football team.
“Why footy?” I hear you ask. Why not resign myself to a life well lived, uninjured (wait, where’s my tooth again?) and warm in bed instead of at early morning trainings. I could save myself some wind-chapped lips, and still be an avid supporter who gets to experience all the excitement of matches – from the safety of the bench.
It’s absurd I know, but I’ve become weirdly attached to the goal of playing footy to the point where my lifestyle has shifted. In fact, after going to my first football match last weekend I’ve found myself asking why I don’t do it every weekend. I even floated the idea to my friends that I would happily go down by myself. Their slightly concerned eyes replied to me, “Well technically, yes. But it’s a thing to be done with friends – otherwise, you’ll turn into a complete, and lonely, fanatic.”
As I realised the extent of my newfound interest I remembered that it’s always important to ask yourself why you’re doing something. What you actually want from it. Actual question: If I don’t do it, will it matter? And to whom?
Because, if you don’t do it, you don’t get that satisfaction of an all-consuming experience that makes it All Worth It.
I don’t actually really like playing footy. In fact, the physicality worries me. And it’s certainly something I’ve never grown up playing, or even watching. That was rugby #Brisvegas. When I came home over the holidays and spoke about my new dream my mother confessed to throwing out the AusKick signups and my father couldn’t fathom my newfound interest in the sport.
But I love having a goal. I love having something where I can visibly see myself improving. That is what is important thing here. It doesn’t have to be sport. It could be music, drama, debating – whatever makes you tick. But please, if your time at Ormond is beginning or ending, immerse yourself in something. Invest yourself.
It’s not an easy thing to fully invest yourself. Many would prefer not to. To take the safe road, say. To steer away from vulnerability. But I promise you now you won’t get that feeling when the hard work pays off. When you come to stare at those goals in front of you. Then look down to your hands, feel the red Sherrin in them and place it right down on your boot to smash it straight through.
To do something you couldn’t do before – that’s a special feeling.