So, last week during lacrosse camp, we experienced some fantastic lightning storms. During one particular storm we decided to usher all the campers into a metal pavilion, and while waiting for the skies to clear, tell stories of our "Favorite Lacrosse Moments." For the first five minutes, my fellow coaches told wonderful and heart warming stories of last minute victories and epic teams. When it came to me the only story I could think of was the following:
The setting was downtown Philadelphia, the opponent was Temple University and I was a timid freshman. The scouting report on Temple was anything but positive. They were brutal girls, who were known for punching you in the ribs when the ref wasn't looking, and cussing you out when the ref was looking. The night before the game our coach implored us to not retaliate. If they hit us, we were to walk away. If they said something about our mothers, we were to nod and smile.
When we began the second half, the score board read 11-2. (Not in our favor.) After a few minutes, I came to the conclusion that we were most likely going to lose this game, and therefore, I might as well start the "unnecessary beatings." For those of you who haven't played sports, or usually act like grown-ups, "unnecessary beatings" typically means you take cheap shots at your opponent because you can't beat them in a regular way. I know it sounds childish, but for me, it's always helped to alleviate the pain of a loss. It's sort of like if I can't play tomorrow either will you.
Anyway, my "unnecessary beating" came in the form of a "slight" shove while we both were running out for a clear. Unfortunately, my opponent didn't appreciate the game I was playing, and in a split second, she lowered her shoulder and lifted me into the air. As I fell back, I looked over at the stands and saw my mom covering her face, Temple fans pointing and laughing and my dad screaming, "Go get herrrr!!!" As I pulled myself up, I had one objective: find that chick and kill her. Across the field I found her and started running in her direction. As she saw me coming, she stopped running away and started running towards me. So, there we were running at each other at full speed. When we met, I held out my arm and clotheslined her just like I had seen my heroes do every Saturday morning on WWF. Instantly, the ref blew her whistle, pulled out two cards and we were set to our sidelines. As I sheepishly approached my coach, she grabbed my jersey and said, "Nice hit. You are going in in two minutes." Once I got back into the game I was on fire. I went to goal with absolute no fear, and dared any chick to get in my way. My team responded to my aggression and we ended up losing the game by three goals.
Now, I'll admit this is truly my favorite lacrosse moment, but probably not something I should have shared at camp. Because there I sat, in the little hole I had dug, trying to tell a sea of terrified faces that violence is not a good idea and should not be resorted to during any circumstance.
What can I say? As a youth speaker I failed. Miserably.