Trading quiet woods for chaos of gymnasium

Posted: Monday, February 01, 2010

I have always made choices dictated on my comfort zone. My own had stopped me from switching elementary schools, going to events I felt uncomfortable at and changing my daily regime. Sometime in the past year I shed that familiar comfort zone and like most teenagers went through a phase of wanting to be different. But instead of changing my hair color or changing my clothes I switched sports.

The woods have always been a comfortable place for me, and cross-country skiing offered me an outlet to relax, think, and enjoy Alaska. It was never about competition for me but more about finding a place that I felt I could be myself with no judgments. However, this past year I realized that I not only wanted to change something but I needed to experience something else. It was a tough decision for me but I made the choice to come out of the woods and into the gym.

I play basketball now. At first it was too hot, cramped and hectic. I missed the chill, the space and the calm. I was upset for putting myself through this and wanted to run out and strap on some skis. But like most things you eventually fall into the rhythm.

Change is hard at any age. Nobody likes it and nobody wants to embrace it. Sometimes though you need it. I know that I needed it. Basketball presented a challenge and woke me up from my routine. Comfort zones are hard to break. Especially when they are solidly established. A lot of times though to grow as a person you need to break the status quo and do something that you normally would not do.

I took a chance by changing my routine and I do not regret it. I have grown to like the gym and appreciate the constant buzz of activity. It no longer overwhelms me but instead invites me in. It's comforting to know that I can always escape this by going into the woods to find the calm and the quiet. But for now I am good with the chaos.

This article is the opinion of Cassie Sheridan. Sheridan is a junior at Soldotna High School.

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