It hit me like a truck. This was an epiphany to rival all epiphanies. In my fourth and final year at Scripps Ranch High School, my fourth and final year as editor of the Falcon Flyer, my fourth and final year as a student-athlete, I had a sudden realization. I understood what happiness is. It didn’t come from a book, and I didn’t learn it in class.
In my three years as the sports editor and one year as the editor-in-chief of the Flyer, I was lucky enough to attend an event from every sport that SRHS has to offer. It was then I realized that with the conclusion of this spring sports season, I would never again, as a high school student, see the cardinal, white, and navy in action. And, it struck me like a ton of bricks.
Happiness is being in the bleachers when Sean Carpenter is at the plate with the bases full and a 3-1 count, right about when the pitcher begins wishing that he had stayed home to study for his chemistry final. Happiness is seeing either of the Nejal brothers give their opponents on the wrestling mat a sudden appreciation for pretzels.
Happiness is being poolside when Milla Kivatkovsky launches shots at the goalie that are harder to stop than her surname is to pronounce. Happiness is seeing quarterback Nate Coughlin fire bullets from the pocket that would qualify him for a National Rifle Association membership. Happiness is seeing an Erin Harmenson delivery from the flat-mound, an Elizabeth Basanec shot from beyond the arc, a Heather Szafraniec goal that leaves the opposing keeper with nightmares and a cold sweat.
Happiness is seeing Devin Rhinerson butterfly through the pool faster than a blood-doped dolphin. It is being within a yell of the hockey field when Jessica Brid and Lesley Wiler create the meanest one-two punch outside of the professional boxing ring. Happiness is seeing Ashley Davidson lead the Lady Falcons women’s volleyball team to upsets more one-sided than the Tyson-Lipinski bout.
True happiness is being able to lose myself in a crowd of hundreds of other Falcon faithful and perch myself on the edge of my seat. I yell until my vocal cords feel like they have taken a detour through a paper shredder. And, I am truly able to appreciate the greatness that surrounds me.
You do not have to know these athletes to understand the feeling. You may have felt it when your favorite team was tied with only seconds to go. Then, one player made a three-pointer, caught a pass in the end zone, or hit a grand slam.
It is appreciating the greatness around me that makes me happy. I am happy because as a spectator, in those precious few moments, everything–all of this world–fades into a dim shade of gray and the brilliance, glimmering in the center of my consciousness, is spectacular. The competitiveness, the dedication, the glory is a golden aurora which simply brightens my life.
Sports is just a microcosm for the bigger picture of life. Personal happiness doesn’t have to be found on the sideline of a sport. It can be found anywhere you can stop, look 360 degrees around, and realize that there is greatness around you. Lose yourself in the splendor that is around you and simply enjoy life.