Learning the art of letting go
I’ve never liked endings. They tend to be messy things and sad things and they mean that something or someone you care about is gone from your life.
There’s an art in learning to let go of things, of learning to say goodbye and of leaving with a full heart. Not all of us master this art — it can take years, or sometimes we never learn and endings cause us great pain.
I’m getting better at dealing with endings, but it’s still hard, and as a sports reporter, each season involves an ending. Sometimes it’s happy - you see an athlete you’ve covered for years standing on the podium, smiling and waving hello to friends and family high up in the stands.
Last year I was lucky. I was lucky to witness history and see the Colby Hornets girls basketball team make it to state, and make an exit at the grandest stage for a prep basketball player.
This year was far different. This year I watched as the Colby Hornets were bounced out of the playoffs by the Pacelli Cardinals of Stevens Point in their first game. Perhaps it’s fitting that as I write this, the Colby Hornets boys basketball team fell to the Pacelli Cardinals on the road.
It was hard seeing the girls leave the court on Friday. There were tears, and the understanding that something special was over. Sports is more than just about winning and losing - it’s about being on a team, being a family.
You spend long hours with each other - on bus rides, at games, in practices. You learn about each other’s lives and classes and families. You learn so much more than just sports when you’re on a team.
Oh sure, it’s good to know how to run a power-spread offense, or a motion offense or run a high-low ball screen or the proper way to charge up a hill or how to hit a golf ball out of a sand trip.
But when you’re on a team you learn about life. You learn about people and choices and determination and guts and willpower. You form family bonds that you cherish and that get you through those rough teenage years.
And then one day it’s gone. It’s over. You won’t throw a pass to a teammate ever again. You won’t run a pick and roll with your friend. You won’t share the victories any more.
I see that every season, and I must admit, I feel it every season. But what a joy it is to be a part of something bigger than yourself. The journey is always better than that destination. It reveals more lessons to us than we realize or appreciate at the time.
To this year’s seniors - Hailey, Kersten, Lexi, Jayden, Ciomara, Maggie, Martina, Noah, Roman, Harley, Jack, Isaac, Connor, Gavino, Dalton, Blake, Reiley, David and Xavier - thank you for so many wonderful memories. Thank you for letting me in on a wonderful ride. It was a tough and hard ride, but by God, wasn’t it worth it?
M USINGS AND G RUMBLINGS
ROSS PATTERMANN REPORTER