There are ten qualities that make a great athlete. I have three: dedication, passion and stamina. Despite lacking the seven other qualities — agility, aggression, coordination, focus, speed, strength and strategy — my calling is sport videography. I love sport, but have not always. At a young age, sport was the medium through which my greatest insecurities were learned. I was afraid to blame people for their mistreatment of me, so instead I blamed sport since it was the environment in which the incidents occurred. For five years I carried an unspoken bitterness towards sport until the day I chose to forgive. The act of forgiveness was a turning point.

My senior year of high school was another turning point. I began making videos that August and slowly fell in love with videography as I also fell for sport. The two were intertwined from the beginning. That year I ended up playing softball and boys’ soccer, so the teams could have enough players to compete. It was also that year on Christmas Eve a former classmate and talented athlete, Lane Smith, was killed in a car crash. His parents established a scholarship in his memory for which applicants must have played two sport their senior year. I started the school year with no intention to play any sport and no knowledge that our community would suffer such a devastating tragedy, but ten months later I stood in front of the school as a two-sport athlete receiving the Live On 11 scholarship. It was through these circumstances my calling was revealed to me.

In regard to sport videography, I am talented, I am passionate and I don’t know crap. I learn every day through writing for the sports section, taking sport management classes, making videos for Trinity and simply hanging out with athletes. Part of why I am learning at such a fast pace is because I have years for which to make up.

I have roller skated since age six, and skating is now as natural as walking. Understanding sport is the same way. Patterns are formed in the mind, just like a new language, becoming second nature over time. Sport natives take for granted the fluency given to them by watching and playing from an early age and often expect the same fluency from outsiders. However, to an outsider even a simple aspect of a relatively simple sport can be convoluted. For instance:

“When a player is fouled — assuming you understand fouls — two shots are taken from 15 feet back, all alone. You earn one point for each shot. Some baskets are two but outside of the rainbow-shaped line they’re worth three.”

Confusing right?

I will soon be able to pass as a sport native but sport will always be my second language. I have experienced my time on centerstage and in centerfield, but those places are not where I belong. Through telling other people’s stories I am able to manage my own selfishness. It is hard giving up the spotlight, but I am not the star anymore. I am the telescope. That is a terrible metaphor.

I do not love sport despite the pain it caused, I love sport because of the beautiful — and often painful — way it shaped my life. Every laugh and taunt, every night spent crying myself to sleep, developed my character just as gold refined through fire — better metaphor, not original. I have been blessed with challenges that gave me compassion, perseverance, a thick skin and a quick wit.

I am unafraid to discover, grow and become — shout out to university marketing — but part of me will always be an outsider. No matter how integrated I become in the world of sport, I will never lose my accent because I speak sport as a second language.