September means classes and books and homework. It means essays and all-nighters and energy drinks.
September means Quidditch starts again.
So, what does September really mean?
September means a fresh start.
It means everyone starts at undefeated records. Everybody has an equal shot at being the best team in Quidditch—even if it’s just for a week. Our brisk season of Autumn is a welcomed month to put away past disappointments and unfortunate snitch grabs. Now, we have try-outs. We have a new team. A team, that for even just a split second, has the potential to be the best team of all-time. Every new practice or team dinner is a chance to be better than you were before.
It’s a fresh start.
It’s a new family, full of smiles and blossoming friendships and a certain purposeful misunderstanding of the dauntingly impossible task that is front of them. Win the World Cup, it doesn’t sound too hard, right?
Winning the World Cup will be the hardest thing you ever do. Harder than your final exams or leaving your dog behind at home. And it will hurt even more when you come up short. Winning the cup means stays after practice and coming even earlier. It means dedicating yourself to a cause that reflects so much of your life. It means playing in the rain until the mud causes slips, slides and bruises. It means pushing yourself harder than you’ve ever gone before.
September means reaching for the stars.
When, by some stroke of luck, I made the World Cup squad my freshman year, the best coach (other than my dad, of course) I ever had taught me some very important things.
We will win, he said. If you don’t believe in yourself and your teammates, what do you have at all? But then he said, nothing is given to you and everything is earned.
So when we lost (by less than legitimate causes) I cried. Cry. Cry because this means so much to you. Cry because Quidditch means everything to you. But smile because every minute, every beat and every late practice is part of the adventure. And the adventure is everything.
Do whatever it takes to win. Stay up late, wake up early. Ride in vans in New York or Virginia or wherever your regionals are this year, it’s worth it. Worth every penny you spend, every tear you shed and every minute you give up. Give Quidditch everything you have and I promise you that our sport will give it right back.
When your seeker wins the game for you, tackle him. Don’t take your time throwing your triumphant hero over your shoulders for all the world to see. Don’t forget about the beaters because they probably did more than you’ll ever recognize. Cheer louder than ever for every player on your team because they’ve worked just as hard to make it on the field for this game or those regionals or this year’s World Cup.
Fundraise like hell. Bake Cookies. Teach it to high schools. Spread our cheer. Don’t forget you have to pay two hundred dollars a pop to fly to Florida. Don’t forget that your hard work on the field must be rivaled by your determination and efforts off the field. Make your school proud of you.
Make yourself proud.
Design dope uniforms. Go crazy. Go outside the box and do things you never thought possible. This Quidditch season only happens once. It is September now and you have no excuse to get started and never stop.
Never stop thinking, planning, scheming to make a better team. Make a better family. Make a better strategy. Plan how you’re going to stop Kedzie Teller even though he has dominated you time and time again. Plan how you’re going to get to Orlando. Think about your team and take them heights that have never been reached before.
It’s up to you.
You could sit back and let someone else take the reins. Watch as someone else leads the team you care so deeply and passionately about. You can just play if you want; go to a few practices here and there but not commit. Or, you can let everybody know how much it means to you. Show it to them on the pitch. But show your pride and eagerness at meetings too.
Broadcast it to the world.
September means new beginnings. A fresh start. The first chapter. This book yours to write, illustrate and publish. Make it your own. Make it a New York Times Bestseller. September means slam-dunks, beat bruises and the most magical snitch pulls you’ll ever see. September means Quidditch.
And September means everything to me.
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