(Pause royal We)
At the end of this year’s college season my team and I huddled around for the last stretch/cooldown/talk/teamraderie time. We usually used this time to talk about what the team did wrong and what the team did right throughout the tournament. We also picked a buddy for the tournament and were supposed to focus particularly on that person’s play. Giving them pointers and encouragement on the many different things they were doing right and wrong.
However, there was a different feel in the air for this tournament as we knew that this would be the last time that we gathered together like this, as this team. That’s the funny thing about teams. You’ve only got them for a season. On the whole, a team isn’t together for any more than a season in any sport. It seems to feel like this is especially true in Ultimate. For colleges graduation and a general attrition seem to wear teams down. For clubs it may be the real world or just advancing ages of members that cause the faces of the team to change from year to year.
Either way, we knew that if we wanted to say something to each other, now was the time to say it because there wouldn’t be a next time. I believe that may be why my team captain, Kevin Anderson, said what he said then.
“I hate everything that is not Ultimate.”
Part of me truly believed him. He loves Ultimate and he’s a passionate guy so it could very well be true. Part of me also wishes that I could be like him. I love the game and whenever I’m on the field I’m completely at peace. I will never be the most talented player in the game. Heck, I may never even play at the club level. However, you’ll be hard strapped to find someone who loves playing more than I do.
Even with that knowledge. You must know that there are several other things that I love. One of them being a short blonde girl by the name of Kendall Williamson. She and I have dated since the end of our freshman year in college. We just celebrated our three year anniversary together.
Often times people will ask me, as a senior, what my advice is on a successful college experience. I like to think that I have, by all standards, had one of those. I have worked in many student organizations in many different faculties. I graduated with a decent GPA and a greatly increased knowledge of the world around me. I have plenty of friends, many of whom I would trust with my life, and have plenty more stories to tell that leave you rolling on the floor gasping for breath or stunned and questioning the quality of human existence.
However, when one of USC’s rookies asked me at a party, “What do I need to know from you about having a great college experience?” I took him under my arm, scanned the room and found Kendall.
“You see that?” I asked.
“What? Kendall?” he said.
“Yeah, you want to know how to have a great college experience?”
“I do.” he said.
“Find you one of those.” I told him. “I don’t mean just any girlfriend. I mean an exact copy. Or at the very least, find you a girl that makes you just as happy as she makes me.”
I truly believe that, beyond anything or anyone else. She has been the driving force behind my positive experience at USC. She has been there through thick and thin. She’s laughed when I needed her to and cried when I needed her to. She’s never given up on me and, more importantly, she’s never given up on us.
She’s gone on 14 hour drives with me to watch the Gamecocks get trampled by Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. She’s given me kisses even though I just had jaw surgery and my face is twice its normal size. She’s changed her plans at the last second just to hang out with me instead and she’s been the center of everything fun that I’ve done for the last three years.
I suppose I wouldn’t say it’s because she’s the ideal girl for anyone (although I think she is). I think I would say it’s because she’s the ideal girl for me. So, that’s the point that I’m trying to make. The key to a succssful college career isn’t just a girl just like Kendall. It’s a love. A love like the one between Kendall and I. One that is unconditional and pure. So I guess the key isn’t to find a clone of Kendall, it’s just to find someone that you can love and will love you back.
It is for those reasons, among many others that I simply don’t have the time or energy to list here nor is this necessarily the approriate forum, that I decided that I had found the key not only to a successful and joyful college career but also a successful and joyful life. It is for that reason that, last night at around 10:00 PM, I asked for her hand in marriage and, wouldn’t you know it, she gave it to me.
I tell you all of this to hopefully help you along the way. I know I’m young and I know that I have a lot to learn. However, I do also know this. Making that girl happy makes me more happy than anything else in the world. I would move both heaven and earth to ensure that she was safe and living the life that she wanted to lead and I rest comfortably in the thought that she would do the exact same for me.
I’m not going to say that I know one of the secrets to happiness in life but I will say that I think I’m well on the way. And that secret is defined somewhere in the relationship between me and a 5-foot-nothing, Gamecock-loving, frisbee-playing, Godly, beautiful young woman from Aiken, South Carolina.
I hope you’ll take this information as an excuse as to why the blog hasn’t been as active as I would like it to be over the last couple of days. I plan on getting back on track and pumping out some Nationals previews over the next two weeks so that you will be well prepared for an awesome weekend of even more awesome Ultimate.
Thanks for reading and I hope that today is the best day of your life yet because, having recently had the best day of my life, I can tell you, it’s a blast.
(Resume royal We)