Finally was the word that I finally was able to say as I finally collapsed onto an air mattress in a dorm room that I borderline snuck into at 2:30 in the morning.
If there was any such word to simply describe my experience this weekend between three states, six Quidditch games and hundreds of friends—that was it. Finally is a word that can go so many ways and defining it is just as hard as trying to make the last train in Boston—something that I finally found out can be nearly impossible and frustrating.
Finally describes co-captain/coach/GM Zach and mine’s adventure to New York at 6:30am on Saturday morning. We woke up late and started the journey under black clouds and a parking ticket that would suck away any happiness that someone could feasibly contain that early. Finally describes navigating our way through Randall’s Island. Finally describes sitting through the blistering heat, sweating through your shirt for the fourth time.
Finally defines meeting people that you should have been friends with a long time ago. I had chatted with Mike—errr, Yada, at various tournaments before but reminded me within the five minutes of being official teammates: “Benny, you gotta call me Yada or I’m never going to respond.” Befriending the Maryland kids—finally—from Emily and Pat to meeting Harry Greenhouse (the main Boston Summer Quidditch organizer) seemed overdue.
Finally describes getting to play with my buddy and travel partner, Matt Lowe, once again. This is now the third different team that I’ve been lucky enough to play with Matt on (fourth if you count the Quiyk team) and it gets sweeter every time. Every alley-oop or pinball passing just seems to further our chemistry and I always look forward to getting back on the pitch with my bearded ally.
Finally describes teaming up with Sarah Kneiling and Matt Ziff, Team USA’s star beaters, and getting to have that protection and reliability behind me is a feeling that goes without saying. Finally describes hugging Sarah after months of wondering if LSU and Emerson would ever get a chance to play. We may never play against each other, but we played together and I will take that ten out of ten times.
Finally describes missing out on playing with Zach D’Amico. It means waiting again for another chance, another team, another tournament in which we can finally put our efforts together instead of against each other. Since Zach and I became friends after Champions Series, we’ve played together countless times in pretty much everything other than Quidditch. And, today, we must wait again—our finally is not here yet.
Finally describes showering in stalls at Grand Central Station before hopping on a four-hour bus ride that slowly dissolved into five when our air conditioning broke down. Finally describes wearing your shorts as a shirt because the air conditioning started working soon after our driver opened the emergency exits on top of the bus for circulation and shivering took over most of my bodily functions.
Finally describes showering in a real shower after sneaking past security at Emerson and digging through a storage room for Matt’s air mattress at 2am after missing the last train after running from the bus station in a dead sprint. Finally describes sitting on a train at Downtown Crossing for fifteen minutes and then having it finally leave as soon as you get off. Finally describes eventually finding your way out of Chinatown, lost as can be in an area that you’ve spent a significant amount of time in for two years.
Finally can only aptly describe your frustration and failures to travel home. It can only understand your plight and only slightly knows what it means to have to leave your team and friends ten minutes before the finals starts. Finally almost made you feel like, for two whole seconds, that the entire trip wasn’t worth it. And then, finally, it hits you: it was worth every second.
I got to spend the whole day with new friends and old. I became friends with Joe from Villanova, Kristin from Macaulay and David from Penn State. I finally got to chat with Jayke from Hofstra. I got thirteen or so new friends yesterday at the very least, and that’s worth a miserable few hours on a bus. Even one friend is worth getting lost in Chinatown.
Meeting these new people had been a long time coming. It finally culminated in a second place finish and a finals appearance, but it really exists on a level so much greater than Quidditch. It’s a new family. It’s new relationships. It’s a new adventure—one that I won’t forget soon. It’s pouring water bottles over you in Times Square. It’s turf burns that refuse to go away and it’s those reminders that tell you that every pass, goal and high five was worth every missed train, turn or hour you could’ve been sleeping.
Honestly, I love Quidditch as much as the next person but it’s often not for the sporting element. I love Quidditch because it has the power to bring hundreds of strangers together like the Northeast Fantasy Tournament did yesterday and turn them into prideful allies and opponents. I love Quidditch because it can create families and bonds that are never broken. It’s not about destination; it’s about the journey.
And as I drifted off to sleep, I remember uttering the word finally one last time. But it wasn’t because I was finally back in Boston, finally in bed or off that damn bus. I said finally for so many other reasons on Saturday night and every single one of them was worth it.
Finally can describe so many things, but above of all, it means you.
Jam City Swag.
- gottagottabedown likes this
- fuckyesquidditch reblogged this from quiyk
- fuckyesquidditch likes this
- guitarshark reblogged this from quiyk and added:
- bennyflyz reblogged this from quiyk
- quidkid38 reblogged this from quiyk
- ccubs29 likes this
- ziffms reblogged this from quiyk and added:
- ziffms likes this
- quiyk posted this