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Sports can offer so much to an individual at any given time. It’s a stress reliever, a hobby, or in my case, an occasional escape from everyday life and reality.
I’m sure everyone probably has a story about where they were on Sept. 11, 2001. For me, it was second period, Mrs. Herron’s physical science class my sophomore year of high school.
While I do not remember much from that class, I do remember her saying something that day about using planes as bombs, not knowing what was going on at that same time. I only remember this because I had a huge fear of flying at the time, and that statement didn’t help matters much.
For most of my friends and I, it took a few hours to really digest what was going on and the seriousness of the situation. Immediately upon figuring this out, I started looking for any kind of comfort or normalcy, starting with band rehearsal that afternoon.
Much to my surprise, color guard practice was released early that day, and I once again found myself needing some kind of escape to ease my mind. What better than sports, right?
Expecting to go home and turn on Sportscenter, my juvenile mind was once again surprised to see coverage from New York and Washington in place of my normal shows, as well as all sporting events canceled for the remainder of the week.
At that point, I truly embraced what happened, and like everyone else, started to worry about what, if anything, would happen next.
Once we all got through some of our country’s darkest times, I was happy to have sports back, but with a newfound appreciation. I, like most, had a burst of pride listening to the “Star Spangled Banner” before each game, and was glad to be moving back toward something normal.
I say all of this as we embark on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Hard to believe it’s been that long, and if you take nothing else from this week’s column, you can see how ignorant I was as a teenager.
This weekend, I’ll see a majority of you guys at the Union County slow pitch tourney at the Sportsplex. I’m definitely pumped, as it’s the first county tournament of the year, and as you’ll learn, some of my best experiences with this job have come during these weekends.
So as we’re all gathered cheering on county rivals tomorrow, let’s take some time to be thankful and see how far our country has come.
Sports are a big part of my life, but it’s also important to remember what matters most, and that’s a valuable life lesson I’ve taken from these tragic events.