Contributor is exactly Callie Darst
2020-08-27I am on the women’s soccer team at Arizona State University, and the world’s way of handling sports during the pandemic was ever changing and interesting to say the least. This photograph depicts me playing soccer outside while fully masked. At the start of the pandemic, all sports were put on a complete hold and all athletes were sent home. The next progression was that we were able to return to campus, however we must practice fully masked and maintain no contact with other athletes. As you can imagine, running sprints in August in Arizona was no easy feat, but nobody complained and everyone was just happy to get back on the field. Within a couple of months, we were able to resume contact, remove masks, and play against other schools as long as weekly testing was enforced. As the year has progressed and vaccinations have become readily available, the restrictions for vaccinated individuals have been almost completely lifted and testing is no longer required. This pandemic has completely changed my outlook on sports and life in general. It is so easy to dread the early morning practices, the hard team workouts or count down the days until your next off day. However, once those things are completely taken away from you, you truly realize how lucky you are to even be on the field in the first place. This pandemic, in all that it has taken from us, has given me a sense of appreciation for all the little things that I used to dread. I find myself being much more optimistic in the hard moments than I was before, and I have been able to be much more grateful for the opportunities that I have been given. I truly do think that this lesson will carry over into my life beyond athletics, and that I will have a different outlook on seemingly dreadful tasks. You never know when a global pandemic could suddenly put your life on hold.