When I think of sports I automatically think of the obvious stuff: professional sports teams, name brand athletes, Nike, Adidas.
Yet sports enters into my life in so many other ways than what I see or hear from the TV, newspapers or internet.
It goes beyond the generics of it all. It envelopes my life in many different aspects, from the clothes I wear to the games I catch around UCI’s campus.
Sports invades our lives whether we realize it or not.
Sports has evolved from the basic joys of the game to uniting all at the same time.
As kids, our parents put us into teams like AYSO, tee-ball or gymnastics.
I myself took swim classes, gymnastics, and dance.
As I grew older, my interest in what sports I like as well as what I was good at, and my perspective on them changed.
We all have our reasons as to why we chose to play one particular sport.
We could have done it as a hobby or competitively through school.
The sports I chose were cross-country and track. I decided to try long distance running because my dad had done it in high school and as a kid I wanted to emulate him.
So, in middle school, I ran track and continued doing it throughout high school and picked up cross-country along the way.
They’re sports I loved and competed well in, but I have to admit, my twin was faster than me.
I took an interest in all sports and ended up being a writer and photographer for the sports section of my high school newspaper and then Sports Editor beside my sister my senior year.
I wasn’t good enough to continue competing at UCI, but, once again, I found my outlet through sports writing.
Even if I’m not playing my own hand in sports, it’s all around me.
Sports have come to be much more than just the traditional powerhouse teams of football or baseball.
Now it includes skateboarding, water polo and extreme sports. It is an area which has continued to grow and expand as each decade passes.
It is so much more than what we see commercially. Sports are felt and transcended across countries, cultures and languages.
It has become a part of my life: athletes who I admire, look up to and feel disappointed in when seasons, trades or circumstances don’t turn out the way I had hoped.
Sports have always, in one way or another, been our past, present and future.
It has been a part of history and lives on through books, channels and movies.
It’s watching my cousin’s baseball game, seeing kids play tag in the park or walking over to the Bren to take in a basketball game.
Little things like playing miniature golf or laser tag may not seem enough to be called a sport, but that’s exactly what it is.
If sports didn’t mean so much to us, there wouldn’t be the bitter rivalries there are or legendary greats who inspire new generations to one day be like their role models.
Because, after all, if sports wasn’t something that transcended so easily from culture, generation and country, then why would our parents have gotten us involved with it in the first place?
Well, this June, I leave UCI as a graduate and as a sports writer for the New University. This paper has been an outlet for my frustrations with sports, athletes, coaches and organizations.
However, I’ve had the opportunity to cover games in different sports, to increase my knowledge on sports terminology, the intricacies of plays and have gotten to meet extraordinary individuals.
Although my sports writing ends with this paper, it is not a reflection of my relationship with sports.
Like baseball, it is one of my great pasttimes and something I get excited about: stubbornly competitive in and heart broken over in those rare occasions.
There’s always the little league games, after school meets and professional games I will most likely be watching, and if I miss it, I’ll make sure to catch the recap in the Los Angeles Times or Sports Center.
Finally, good luck, good-bye and thank you for letting my voice be heard.