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Blog Rally #6: What did Ness win by playing sports?

12/08/2010
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As part of the National Women’s Law Center’s Blog to Rally for Girls’ Sports Day, the Tucker Center will be posting entries from its graduate students. Each post answers the prompt, what did you win by playing sports?

Ness Madeiros

This is Ness Madeiros’, a first-year M.A. student in sport and exercise psychology, response.

It’s almost an impossibility, to measure what I won from sports.  I won a lifetime of opportunities and countless friends.  I won the thrill of my body cutting through the wind at fifty-seven miles an hour on a downhill (don’t tell my Mom).  I won that feeling when you race someone down the finishing chute, and I won the knowledge that win or lose, goals achieved or not, I gave every ounce that I had on the day.  I won an appreciation for the rhythmic meditation of stroke after stroke, and lap after lap.  I won a thousand silent sunrises, disturbed only by the sound of my breath and my pounding feet.  I won a body that will run every day if I ask it to, and a mind that knows the value of a rest day.  I won the confidence and passion to be learning new sports in my thirties, and the good fortune to still be participating in the sports of my childhood.  Playing sports has given me far more than I could ever articulate.  And the big win is yet to come: the ability to pass on the flame of athletic passion to the next generation so that they, like me, can never imagine life without it.

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