October 6, 2006

Intramurals Offer Chance At Spotlight

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It’s not just little boys that don’t want to grow up. After all, Mary Martin is the one who made Peter Pan a household name when she played the title role in the 1960 film. So I say it’s fair game for little girls everywhere — and college seniors too — to turn their backs to tomorrow and say, “I’ll never grow up!”

Of course, this is hard to do when everyday chitchat with friends and family is filled with questions about jobs or grad school, and the not-so-rare occurrence of people you went to high school (or college) with actually getting married. I’ve been told the “real world” is waiting after graduation, but that day months away can sometimes feel like it’s just around the corner.

But all is not lost. There’s still a place where we can run away and turn back the page to the lost glory of youth. The days when we were all hometown heroes, big fish in a little pond — in short, that time long ago when we were each fit, skilled, and big (wo)men on campus. High school, baby. Four years later, a few pounds gained and a few seconds slower, intramurals offer us all a chance to sprinkle a little fairy dust of athletic glory on our mundane existence as students at prestigious institute of higher learning.

If I had my 15 seconds of fame for a highlight reel on ESPN, this is what it would look like. To set the tone, an overhead camera zooms in on the huddle on Jessup Fields Wednesday night, when my housemates and I start off our girls’ soccer game with a “bone … bone … bone, bone, bone-boneboneboneBONECRUSHERS!” cheer. (Inspired by the rap song.)

Fade to a clip of my 40-yard dash down the field this Monday night, the pigskin tucked under one arm and closing in on the end zone before a short, speedy fellow grabs the flag streaming behind me at the 1-yard line.

In quick succession, I’d show highlights of my three goals in three games for “Wings of Destiny,” the co-ed soccer team I joined late, a squad stocked with inexperienced but passionate gals and guys who play to have fun first.

Pull some footage from the vaults from the co-ed touch football championship game on Schoellkopf Field last fall and the tall girl rushing for sack after sack and doing my best to help “Jansen’s Revenge” to a championship despite my utter confusion — I could handle blocking because it was like boxing out, and that’s about it. But I’m a fast learner, so watch out for a repeat from “Jansen’s Revenge 2: With a Vengeance” this year.

And I’ve got the guts to match the talent. Don’t believe it? Then let’s roll the tape of me absorbing a booted soccer ball to the back because some eager-beaver freshman is a little too excited to show off his amazing soccer moves by blasting a shot on goal from the kickoff. But, to be fair, he did give me a high-five when I showed him how it should have been done by sneaking one in under the cross bar from about 25 yards out later in the game.

Just for fun, throw in snippets of my friends mud-wrestling after Flag Football Regionals last year — yeah, we’re kind of a big deal, No. 3 in the Northeast (out of four teams, but who’s counting?). And for comic relief, and to show you that even an intramural all-star like myself isn’t perfect, let’s cap it off with a shot of me reaching for a pop fly at co-ed softball, tipping it off the top of my glove and earning a monstrous bump on my noggin. To my disappointment, it wasn’t even a war wound, we were just warming up. Hey, at least I was wearing my championship shirt from flag football at the time.

To cap it off, and show the amazing range of my athletic ability, let’s throw in a segment from inner-tube water polo, in which I scored the most glorious goal of my life — a fadeaway floater from at least three strokes out that grazed the outstretched fingers of the opposing goalie on its way into the net. Mad skills, I’m telling you.

Finally, fade to black over a montage of high fives, smiling faces, aching bodies, and muddy, smelly clothes.

Maybe our minds are a little quicker than our bodies by this point, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to intramurals. With adulthood closing in, intramurals are an escape, a chance for each of us to step inside the safe haven of white chalk lines and relive a piece of the teenage glory years before we’re finally forced across the threshold into adulthood.

Olivia Dwyer is the Sun Sports Editor. Forever Wild will appear every other Friday this semester.