Sport Symphony

2023-10-23 03:01     Comment:0

Alice Simões, USJ Student

        The fast-paced lifestyle in Macau that most are subjected to makes competition almost feel inevitable, whether it be at work, at school or even at home. Competitiveness changes the perspective of viewing tasks, it is not about learning and enjoying, but rather how much better you are compared to others.

Waking up in the middle of the night by a holler is habitual for a house with sport enthusiasts as nothing fuels a football fan more than losing a match, and people calling football soccer. Although I was nurtured in an environment where the sports channel was always on the screen, partaking in any kind of sport was not expected, as my father did not appreciate it when I got home all bruised from playing at the park.

Starting school, I met peers with all kinds of hobbies, practising sports that I’ve never heard of before, and that is exactly when I started my journey of trying all the sports I could get my hands on. I began my expedition with figure skating, which little me despised, followed by swimming, which was somehow worse. I moved on to sports that could be practised at school, namely football and volleyball. Part of me wanted to like football due to my Portuguese heritage, but it’s a shame that my passion for watching the sport does not equal my performance. I focused my attention on volleyball instead.

One day I felt a sharp pain on my wrist, which led me to seek medical help. I was told that my muscle had somehow detached from my bone, but it didn’t bother me. I kept playing. Returning to the clinic, I was not surprised that the injury had got worse, however, I was taken aback when the doctor questioned the possibility of me returning to the volleyball court.

Back then I was stuck on the idea that I had to be an academically strong student. It was all about being better than others, which led to a lot of built-up stress, and volleyball was my way to express those feelings. Without that outlet, I felt like I was unhinged. I thought this would all be in the past as soon as I returned to the court. However, future events were not as planned. I did not make the cut for the team and even after recovering, my wrist did not go back to its original state. I was discouraged and thought about quitting the sport until my current coach encouraged me to keep playing and created a comfortable environment for all students to go and practise. 

The fast rhythm of competition became a gentle symphony, I slowed down and suddenly, winning and losing didn’t matter. Wins are celebrations and losses are experiences. I realised that what made me enjoy volleyball the most is how I get to control how competitive it gets. It can either be a really competitive activity or a light-hearted sport to play.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

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