Timm: Don’t forget Yale athletics

This week I found myself really struggling to find a topic for my (hopefully much anticipated) column.

In trying to figure out what in the world I have to say, I thought even more about why I’m in this Yale Athletics “funk” of sorts. In particular, I wanted to know why I, so rarely devoid of opinions on just about everything, have found myself lacking an opinion on one of my very favorite parts of Yale: varsity sports.

When I finally came up with answers to this conundrum, I thought I would share them with you in the form of a column, thus killing two birds with one stone. My hope is not only to reinforce my own love of Yale Athletics, but to inspire you to overcome the dreariness of winter in the tundra by supporting some of the best events of the Yale sports year.

The first thing that came to mind was the obvious quality of the post-break blitz. The beginning of a semester, which I still consider to be going on, now well into the fourth week of classes, is an overwhelming time for every student. Navigating the road through classes, tests, papers, lessons, practices, interviews and, most importantly, Feb Club can leave very little time for consideration and appreciation of athletics.

But when is Yale not like that? Yes, we can make different choices about what to do with our time (in which case I, again, choose Feb Club), but for the most part our time is constantly scheduled. I mean, the last time I remember having unscheduled hours in the day was what many fall sport seniors are experiencing right now. Freedom! And yet, I have somehow managed to, yet again, fill every possible hour with some sort of commitment, which will inevitably happen to them.

That is no reason, however, to miss something as epic as “Pack the Pool” this Saturday. This swim meet, celebrating over 30 years of dedication by Coach Frank Keefe, will be an event for the ages, not to mention the best excuse for putting off that paper due next week. This man has dedicated much of his life to Yale swimming, and in an homage to him, I plan on dedicating at least an afternoon not only to swimming itself, but also to redeveloping a commitment to presence and support of all Yale sports.

The other reason for my inexcusable lack of John Song-esque intensity for Yale sports is very basic: the month of February. I decided freshman year that February is arguably the worst month of the year, hands down. Back then, it was because 6 a.m. practices had me on a geriatric sleep schedule but still let me fall asleep in class (which I learned you can do while writing). Now, with catcher’s knees that can tell the weather and snow every week, it’s just as miserable, even with more sleep.

But here is the great thing about winter sports: They’re indoors! Granted, the hockey rink may be just as cold inside (especially when the compressor breaks — cough — Saturday — cough), but that is no reason not to hike up the hill for the teams, not to mention witness the new Captain Freedom navigate the ice. Even for those with a need for warmth, there are many other options.

Women’s Gymnastics hosted an amazing meet this weekend at which captain Bridget Kvisto ’10 won best all-around and Tara Feld ’13 broke a school record on the vault. Men’s and women’s basketball are still jostling for position in the Ivy standings — the men’s team may have its toughest test this weekend when they play No. 25 Cornell on the road. The No. 49 women’s tennis recently defeated No. 39 Wake Forest by a resounding 6–1 deficit as if demanding our attendance.

Basically, despite the insanity of the semester’s schedule and the perma-cloud that hovers over our fine institution, we don’t have to let seasonal woes drain our athletic spirit. Take a tip from the “primal scream” committee and get all your stress out at a Yale sports event. I guarantee it will make both you and the athletes feel better, at least until you have to walk back outside. Brrr.

So, if you find yourself struggling with school, studying, scheduling or even trying to get energy for the next Feb Club event, take a cue from Yale sports. Let the excitement of supporting our athletes motivate you in your endeavors, or at least put them off for a little while.

Tracy Timm is a senior in Pierson College.

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