March 10, 2009

When All You Can Say Is ‘Cavernous’

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Sometimes, I get tired of hearing myself talk, I really do. I get tired of hearing myself ask the same questions and receive, by and large, the same answers.
“So, coach, how do you think you did? Are you happy with the result?”
“Well Meredith, I think we did pretty well. Our guys tried really hard, and that’s all I can expect out of them.”
OK, well that’s all fine and dandy, but who really cares? Not to belabor the “I’m an underappreciated sports writer and nobody reads my articles” trope, but I recently wrote a column where I straight-up admitted to being a low-level Cornell Athlete stalker (of whom I don’t care to reiterate), and I didn’t receive a single comment on the website, a single email to the Sports Department complaining that there really should be some kind of screening process for reporters. Nope, didn’t see that email, and believe me, I checked.
To sum up, sometimes I feel like I’ve bought a ticket for the never-ending carnival ride that is sports writing, and no matter how fast I spin, I never, ever get anywhere.
And then, this weekend I went to Philadelphia to cover the EIWA Wrestling Championships, and suddenly it hit me. Suddenly, as I grabbed my press pass and strutted past the security guard — excuse me, but I’m with the press — I remembered all over again why I bought that crazy ticket in the first place.
I walked into the Palestra gym at Penn and all I could think about was how badly I wanted to describe the building as “cavernous” in my article. Have you ever had that feeling? The feeling of being just so damn excited to write something. So excited to be in the moment, to feel the electric atmosphere of the fans and smell the sweat of the athletes out there on the mat. To try and find a way to express the feeling of being there so that people who never actually were can somehow be yanked back through time and into the stands of that ridiculously cavernous gymnasium?
Well, I felt it. Remind me of this the next time I try to whine to you about how much I hate my life — because I felt it and I loved it.