A Self Described Hybrid

We’re smack dab in the middle of winter.  Fall seems like a long time ago and spring, well, it hasn’t sprung yet.

But the work for those seasons has begun and for some athletes, this is their first go around with no season to prepare for.

I remember David Lee working at the Rec Center a couple summers ago.  I got to know him as Sun and really liked his personality.  I’ve always been intrigued by how he ended up and Dordt. I’m also intrigued by the role athletics played in his life as he’s been a part of the Dordt soccer program.

I asked him to share what athletics means to him and how his journey has changed him.  Here’s what he wrote.

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One of my biggest pet peeves is hearing someone say to me “It’s just a sport.” I get that it is wrong to get carried away and find one’s identity in sports. I really do. However, I don’t want to fail to acknowledge the amount of impact sports can positively have on one’s life and how it can be used as a powerful, universal tool to influence lives, just like what it did to me for over 17 years.

I don’t want to fail to acknowledge the amount of impact sports can positively have on one’s life and how it can be used as a powerful, universal tool to influence lives, just like what it did to me for over 17 years.

Coming from a multicultural background, I used to label myself as a “hybrid.” This was because I have lived at least two or more years in four different countries and moved houses approximately 20 times. Continuous cycles of packing, saying goodbye to friends, and meeting strangers who speak different languages and live in different cultures had put a huge strain on my life. Amidst of all these struggles, sports was one of the few things that held my life with animation and hope.

I didn’t need to know how to speak in a different language to play sports. I just played and made friends. For me, sports was what served as a powerful, universal tool that broke down the barriers of language and culture, what allowed people to see beyond their differences, and what brought all those people together in unity.

I didn’t need to know how to speak in a different language to play sports. I just played and made friends. For me, sports was what served as a powerful, universal tool that broke down the barriers of language and culture, what allowed people to see beyond their differences, and what brought all those people together in unity. It was also one of the reasons that brought me to Dordt, and at the time, I had no idea how big of an impact Dordt and its soccer program was going to have in my life.

Being granted the opportunity to play four years of collegiate soccer here at Dordt was more than I could ask for. It was more than just a game. I mean, yes, ice baths and pizza were great, but it was really about growth, not only as an individual but as a team. Of course, there were plenty of dramas of joy, frustration, and disappointment along the way. Nonetheless, at the end of day we all took pride in giving our best to glorify God through the game we love and took another small step towards maturity.

Winning matters. Moreover, being able to play matters just as much. I can’t help it. It’s just a part of being an athlete. So, when I had to miss more than half of last two seasons due to recurring injuries, it sucked. I honestly don’t know how else I would describe it. This year was especially hard, because I was looking forward to having the best season with all the seniors for one last time.

Despite the disappointment, thankfully, I was able to gain something far more valuable from this experience than just playing and winning: it led me to the understanding of how to become a better person. Being a Defender isn’t about having the best statistics. It is about fulfilling my duties as a Christian student-athlete. It is about serving my teammates, coaches, and others around me. It is about showing Christian character both on and off the field. Most importantly, it is about glorifying God with the talent He has gifted.

Being a Defender isn’t about having the best statistics. It is about fulfilling my duties as a Christian student-athlete. It is about serving my teammates, coaches, and others around me. It is about showing Christian character both on and off the field.

And now, a significant chapter of my life has come to an end. Honestly, it still doesn’t feel real. Not having to go to 6 am workouts and team meetings, it just doesn’t feel right. I never thought I would say this, but I think I’ll miss those times singing as a group in the showers, suffering from the long, miserable bus rides, and running 110’s on the field.

I will forever cherish all the priceless memories, relationships, and growth that took place during my soccer experience here at Dordt. Although the time has come for me to hit the end button to Dordt Soccer, soccer will always continue to take a place in my heart. After all, it is more than just a sport.

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