It’s no secret that I played sports in high school. I know high school was four years ago and doesn’t really matter now, but I started thinking about the reasons I never wanted to play collegiate sports. In high school athletics, going on to the next level is what most athletes dream of. It never was my dream.

I really love sports. I grew up playing soccer and softball. I watched my brothers play baseball, soccer, football and basketball. We were at some kind of a tournament every weekend in the summer. Whether I was watching or playing, sports were my life.

I started playing basketball and loved it, and I was good at it. My basketball team in high school was good. We had an undefeated region championship title, and we went to the final four in state every year. We worked hard to maintain our prestigious reputation. For a second there, I really wanted to play basketball in college, but after working as hard as I did for a high school team, there was no way I wanted to dedicate that much and so much more to being a college athlete.

I am not saying I am lazy or that I didn’t want to work. By the end of the season in high school, I was sick of basketball, and I was ready for a break. I was losing the love for the game, and I needed rejuvenation after only three months of nonstop practice and games. After an eight-month break, I was ready to get back on the court and play some basketball. If I was to play in college, the seasons were twice as long and the breaks were twice as short. I didn’t think I could work that much without completely hating the sport I loved.

When that epiphany hit me, I realized something else: I play sports and watch sports because it’s enjoyable. I like to be competitive, but I don’t like the pressure and the demands that playing in college would have put on me.

I still love basketball. I love getting together with my old teammates and playing a few pickup games. I love having us all groan in pain because we are so old and out of shape now. Getting together with old friends helps keep my love for basketball alive.

I play an excessive amount of slow-pitch softball these days. My teams take it seriously and we compete. But we still goof off. There is no pressure when we play. We just play because we love it and we are good at it.

Another little reason I never wanted to play sports in college was because I wanted to focus on my education. Going to college was always on my life agenda. Going to Weber State University was always on my agenda. I wanted to go to college to learn, not to be an athlete. Thank goodness there are outlets where I can enjoy the athleticism I was blessed with, but I can do that on my own time.

I decided not to play sports in college because it wasn’t what I really wanted. I play sports because I love it and I am good at it. I would never do anything to taint that love. I like to keep it pure. I am graduating with a bachelor’s degree at the end of April, and I couldn’t be more excited. I got a good education, which was my priority. I realized I didn’t need to play sports like I needed to in high school. I’ve enjoyed being a washed-up but still active high school athlete these last four years.

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