On the one hand, preseason is whistles to get on the end-line and the struggles of getting up the stairs to my third story dorm room after the soreness has kicked in. At the same time, though, preseason is doing these things with my best friends while having no other responsibilities besides spending each day playing field hockey. I think while it is easy to go through preseason thinking about all of the physical and mental stresses of two-a-day practices and grueling conditioning work, this preseason, I constantly reminded myself how lucky I was to get to spend two weeks where my full time job was playing field hockey with my friends. The result was one of the best two weeks of my life, and I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I was sad when my last preseason came to an end.
There are many advantages to preseason. As a freshman, you get a head start to figuring out your way around campus and how the bars at Sharples work, so that by the time the rest of the freshmen arrive a week into preseason, you’re already an expert (not to mention that getting there first means you get to choose the window side of your room). Preseason means having the entire dining hall to yourself and being able to eat as much as you want to refuel from the hours spent practicing. Much of the time not spent at practice or eating is devoted to fun team bonding activities. While there are team bonding activities throughout the school year, much of these take the form of doing homework together in Cornell Library or doing homework together in a Sci Center classroom. We still have fun doing these activities (thanks to the occasional dance or snack breaks), but nothing beats playing Game of Things or full team Creamery runs during preseason.
The highlight of our preseason this year was a team trip to the shore after a hard fought scrimmage. While most other fall sports had trips to Spain or Costa Rica or China, it was not the year for a field hockey international trip. Instead, the field hockey team traveled down the Atlantic City Expressway to Brigantine, where we spent a weekend relaxing on the beach, having a home cooked grilled feast, playing more games, and going on more ice cream outings.
With the field hockey season fully underway now and the classwork piling up, I am appreciative of the time I got to spend just playing some field hockey and hanging out with friends.