By Blanca Izquierdo—
In response to Joseph Kamin’s article “The Sports Industry is Pointless”.
Last Saturday I had one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I played in the Lone Star Conference Championship final at home, in Wisdom Gym, in front of my friends, classmates, professors and other hundreds of supporters. We lost against a very strong opponent and it still hurts; because it isn’t pointless.
Before the match even started, I had tears of joy in my eyes, because I was playing the game I love, in front of the people I love and competing at such a high-level is an unbelievable experience. I could try to write down the feelings flowing throughout me the moment before the game starts but I wouldn’t be able to find words strong enough. Sports bring people together. A team works, cries, fails and wins together—and this unity goes beyond the team members. Families, friends, fans or anyone who is somehow involved in a team would feel the joy, the thrill, the adrenaline and the frustration. Because sports awaken people’s feelings.
I’ve played sports since I was eight-years-old and I would never be able to thank my parents enough to sign me up for the school’s volleyball team. Thanks to their decision, that seemed meaningless at the time, I’ve been offered the opportunity to discover new places, move to one of the greatest countries in the world, go to college and learn a foreign language. I’ve opened my mind to a new culture and a new vision of life, made lifetime friendships and gotten out of my comfort zone. I could go on and on.
Volleyball has shown the importance of putting your heart into everything you do. It has taught me teamwork and selflessness and helped me to understand myself better and how to deal with my emotions in a positive way. Athletes believe in themselves and push beyond their limits. Even in the face of the adversity, athletes are bold. Injuries are accidents, and accidents occur everywhere in life. Perhaps, athletes are more prepared to overcome these types of situations because they have a “never give up” mentality.
In 10 years, nobody will remember the 2018 LSC Championship final but I will. The memories I made throughout my volleyball career will be with me from now on. These memories have shaped my life and filled it with meaning. Sports remind us that even the biggest glory is short-lived, that you always get a second chance and that, win or lose, it doesn’t matter because you love what you do. At the end of the day, experiences are the only thing that truly belongs to people and experiences are exactly what sports are made of. The sports industry isn’t pointless. Instead, it’s a miraculous thing that creates unity and brings out emotions.