The Student News Site of East Grand Rapids High School

The East Vision

Auden Elliott Senior Column

Auden Elliott, News Editor

My high school career has been defined mainly by one thing. In fact, most of my life has revolved around this one thing.
The week after school got out my junior year, I started training for a marathon, working on speed and agility twice a day, and on top of that, I went to practice for two hours every morning.
Since February, I hadn’t given myself a week – let alone a day – off.
It was my choice to push myself through this schedule, but I definitely didn’t enjoy that first week of summer.
To cap off this insane week, I played in a tournament. Why wouldn’t I exercise for another 12 hours?
The first play of the second game I went into dodge, something I had done a million times. And tore my ACL. One failed ligament knocked me out for over a year.
My junior year, especially, I had sacrificed many of my friendships and family relationships while chasing a state championship, preparing for division one athletics, or maintaining my grades. My priority list was upside down. I put my performance on the field above my relationships.
I stopped going out with friends, and started spending more and more time by myself. I let myself become one-dimensional. In the moment, this was something that was very easy for me to accept as necessary to achieve my goals.
Looking back, I don’t remember smiling as much. I definitely don’t remember laughing as much, and I saw my friendships that I had held since middle school start to go stale because I was simply never present.
I was happy and relieved when I achieved my goals, but the process to get there was anything but fun. I was stressed out of my mind and started to dread practice and school more and more.
However, this past summer was different from any other one. I regrouped. Instead of driving around the country for tournaments all summer, I took a class in advancements in the medical field. Instead of spending my afternoons icing and recovering from practice, I went to the beach with friends.
While my senior year would have cycled from cross country practices to lacrosse conditioning to lacrosse season, it was now empty. Everything was put on hold until I could be cleared.
Because my schedule opened up, I never let myself allow the pressure of returning get to me. I found amazing friends in people that I would have never expected to meet my freshman year. I now had time in my schedule to be more active in my clubs and groups, and dink around in the halls with my friends.
I still miss it. I still miss lacrosse.
I want more than anything to have one more overtime night game against Rockford, one more day to feel nervous before the state championship, and even just one last play on Memorial Field.
I might be remembered for my three years of lacrosse here, but I will remember the friendships I made and the memories I created over anything

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