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By M.J. Kamin, Washington junior
CEDAR RAPIDS — The snow has melted for good this time, and as I say goodbye to the snow, I also say goodbye to my free time and possibly my sanity.
I do what many people think is impossible. I play two sports in one season. But how? And why?
I attend soccer practice after school on normal non-game days and I play 36 holes of golf each weekend.
This isn’t the hard part, my golf coach is cooperative when it comes to missing practice because he knows I put in time on the weekends.
The tricky part is soccer games and golf meets. I will miss soccer practice for golf meets, and I will miss golf practice for soccer games. Last year, I attended multiple golf meets then raced over to Kingston Stadium to warm up for my night soccer games. In fact, at the state golf tournament last year, I couldn’t stay for awards — I had to drive home from Des Moines to play in a substate game for soccer.
Because I love golf and soccer more than any other sports. I’ve been around them my entire life, both are my passions, and I couldn’t imagine having to choose between the two.
I started playing soccer when I was five years old. I played for the YMCA “Fire Ants” with a few other Washington High School students, eventually grew out of the YMCA leagues and tried out for Heartland Soccer Club, where I spent nine years on “Wolfpack” and “Fever” teams. I played club soccer until my sophomore year, when the practices began to interfere with cross country.
I started junior golf at Elmcrest Country Club when I was eight, but I had played long before that. Back in those days, I spent more time chasing squirrels with sticks than actually playing. It didn’t take me long to fall in love after competing in the Club Championships at Elmcrest, and when I was 12 I started playing in the Junior PGA events over the summer.
This summer I plan to compete in Junior PGA, AJGA, WWGA, and USGA events.
Being in two sports isn’t a walk in the park. It is a joint effort, requiring help from my coaches, teachers and parents. I can’t say it is impossible, because I do it — but it takes a large amount of mental and physical toughness.
I encourage people to not give up on something because they don’t have time. It might just require a bit of planning and extra effort.
It’s important to not give up on any of your passions, no matter what gets in the way. I handle my busy schedule one day at a time, because if I think about all I have to accomplish every week, I wouldn’t be able to do it.
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