Have Some Heart

Teagan Sullivan, Contributing Writer

That pinkish-red, vital organ housed in the chest, slightly off centered to the left. A human heart is said to be around the size of a person’s fist. Pumping blood throughout the body, and into the lungs to restore oxygen, it beats around 100,000 times per day.

The heart always follows a steady cadence. Whether it be in true form within the ribs or a symbol of romance, love, and affection, the heart is a fascinating thing.

“He really showed some heart.” Another one of the many forms of heart: a description of a person who has shown determination in a sporting event or moment of adversity.

After a long day of school, I quickly threw on my blue uniform in the locker room. I slipped on my Birkenstocks with my blue socks scrunched down to my ankles, and I begrudgingly loaded the bus with the team. This day was going to be interesting.

This season was tough. We were a small team, and we played some big teams that were always able to outscore us. I tried, however, as a captain, to always stay positive and encourage the team regardless of the difficult competition I knew we had ahead of us. This was no easy task for me who often struggles as an overly competitive person. However, we all knew today would be a difficult one. Avon was an impressive team with what seemed like an endless bench, meanwhile we had only a few girls accompanying the bench.

The bus flew over bumps and through potholes, jolting my body with every slight movement, halting my ability to drink water without spilling it all over myself. I’d attempt to bring it to my mouth but stopped each time as a few drops splashed into my lap. The music blared from our huge team speaker that sat in the aisle of the bus, keeping me from dozing off after a busy day.

We finally arrived at the field, and my heart started pounding. Slowly rising, we exited the bus and made our way over to the turf that was blazing in the hot September sun. Walking across the field to the bench while the opponent warmed up and stared us down was always the most intimidating part.

After a quick warmup, the first whistle blew. Before we knew it, the ball hit the back of the goal and not in our favor. At that point I knew things would only go downhill from there. Outplayed, we struggled the remaining three quarters and when the final buzzer sounded, we jogged off the field in disappointment.

Knowing how the team and I felt, I took a second to internally reflect and take a deep breath. I knew as a captain it was my job to lift the team up, especially after a tough loss, rather than bring them down further.

Although my heart was broken, I took the task of trying to heal theirs.