When someone says that something is “like riding a bike,” they usually mean that you remember how to do it relatively easily, even after a long break. This same syllogism can be applied to sports. Once you learn, you are able to pick it back up after a break.

However, sports can also be equated to riding a bike in the sense that the learning process has its share of bumps and bruises along the way. Especially in contact sports, those bruises can be quite painful.

I am a four-year lacrosse veteran from my high school days. My freshman year, I was approached by the head coach about a lacrosse camp he was holding to teach kids the basics of how to play lacrosse. I gave it a try. It was fairly easy, and I decided I would try playing for a year. But then came the important question: What position should I play?

At the time, I had little to no knowledge or experience with lacrosse. I had only just learned the basics and wanted to keep learning. However, with our team being large enough that we had JV and varsity teams, it was going to be tough finding a spot.

That’s what I thought, at least, until I got the chance at varsity. Here was the catch: The position was goalie. I had time to learn and get all the proper equipment, but even I know going in that this was going to hurt – a lot. It’s a grisly job, but someone has to do it. Plus I was second string, so I had a slim chance of playing varsity.

I played all four years of high school, but I knew coming to college would be a big undertaking. I decided, at least at first, to go light on the extracurricular activities and take a break from lacrosse. Now, as our club team gears up for the season, I have been trying to jump back in the saddle. Trust me when I say it hasn’t been easy.

It’s not an easy position to start with. Add the full contact element, and it becomes significantly more difficult. At this point, we’re in the very early stages of preparation. Once we get rolling, it’s going to be a great season, which is just another lesson in boundless optimism.