My Reason Why - Participation in HS athletics has lasting impact on recent Bismarck Legacy grad

October 3, 2019 3:30 pm

By Emma Fricke, 2019 graduate of Bismarck Legacy High School

As a kid, like everyone else, I played sports because they were fun. Little did I know that athletics would become much more than fun. As a multi-sport athlete, I have dedicated much of my time to the gym and the track, as well as to my coaches and teammates.  Some of my best memories are because of sports, as well as some of my most painful ones. Being involved in high school athletics has impacted my life in countless ways. Most importantly, it has taught me to persevere, no matter how difficult things may be and to remain positive in times of despair.

When I was young, sports came very easy to me. It was not until my sophomore year when I was exposed to my first meaningful disappointment. That year, I ran the 4x800-meter relay at every track meet except for the state meet. Though I was angered and confused, I made the decision to work harder so I could earn my spot on the relay. The next year, I ran the first leg at the state meet. To many, this experience may seem insignificant and miniscule, but to me, it is everything. As a teenager, I learned the importance of pushing through a situation that did not go my way - I adapted and overcame. Unfortunately, there are many adults who do not have the capacity to do what I did when I was a mere 10th grader. I firmly believe that because of my involvement in athletics, I have learned necessary life skills that have allowed me to find success not only in athletics, but in academics and my personal life as well.

As a two-year varsity setter on the volleyball team, I discovered the only thing separating a win from a loss is mindset. When we remained positive in games and played for each other, we were unstoppable. When we lacked communication and positivity, we lost. Though we were favored to make the state tournament my junior and senior year, we lost the state qualifying match both years. It was not because we lacked talent, but because we depended on talent to get us there. As heartbreaking as those memories are for me, they have taught me a message that I will carry with me throughout my entire life: Remain positive when it is easiest to be negative. Despite how we were playing, I continued to cheer for and encourage my teammates. As difficult as it was at the time, I knew as their leader that is what they needed. That day I learned you cannot always control how others act, but you can control your own actions. A positive attitude is the key to success in life, and I know that now when I am one day faced with a situation that will seem too difficult to bear. I will embrace the challenge and help others and myself get through it with a beaming smile on my face.

Sports have brought me great joy and will continue to fill me with passion for as long as I can play them. Every single memory from my athletic career has been positive, for I have been able to take away essential life lessons from even the worst memories. I am eternally grateful for the experiences athletic activities have given me, for they have created the positive, resilient person I am today.  Athletics will continue to have a lasting impact on my life as I grow older.

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