Manisha’s Mind

Senior Manisha Ratakonda writes her opinion on various sports issues, both globally and at Hockaday.

Britney Spears once said (or I guess, sang) “I’m a slave for you,” and that has inspired my high school life motto: “I’m a slave for crew.”

For the past four years, I’ve complained about the horrors of Bachman Lake, the difficult workouts and my lack of a social life, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling sentimental as my final season of rowing comes to an end – my last few days as a high school athlete.

When I first joined the crew team freshman year, it was like something had finally clicked. My long, gangly legs were finally beneficial, and my size-12 feet were no longer a source of clumsiness. I felt like the tiny Manisha inside had finally grown to fit into big Manisha’s body. It was instantly a sport I loved and was also terrified by.

Some people have nightmares about standardized testing or the Loch Ness monster, but I had nightmares about surprise 2,000-meter ergometer tests. Some days, crew stressed me out more than school did, but that was only because I cared so much about the sport. And while there is the possibility that I will row in college, there are many things I will miss about Hockaday crew.

I’m gonna miss morning rows when the sky is so dark that we have to put lights on our boats. I’ll miss the Love Field planes flying over our heads and leaving us deaf for a few moments. I’ll miss the breakfasts at OHOP, watching people flip into the water and long, stinky bus rides. But most of all, I will miss my team.

I’ll miss the girls whom I lamented losses and celebrated victories with. The girls (and poor coach) who have seen me at my sweatiest and smelled me at my worst.

So to any underclassmen reading this, I urge you to appreciate each of your days as a high school athlete. Don’t get upset when your team messes up some days, because eventually, the good moments will outweigh the bad ones.

XOXO, Manisha.

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