By Alex Salas
Photo by Crystal Rivera (Original art by Mariposa Art Company).
People have different definitions for ‘family,’ but my definition of family is a group of people you would go to hell and back for, and you know they would do the same for you. Family means forever.
You might think sports teams are just a group of random people working together towards a shared goal, like winning or accomplishing a task, but for those of us who are part of teams, we know they are more than that.
It’s about the bond. The goal brings the group together, but it’s overcoming the obstacles along the way and forming a bond so special, it becomes nearly impossible to break.
People always ask me what sports mean to mean me, and I tell them they are my family. It’s hard for people to understand why I say this, but it’s because for me, my sports teams are the closest things I have to a real family.
They say ‘blood is thicker than water,’ but I find that is not necessarily true. Sometimes the bonds of water are more powerful than blood.
My real family was torn apart many years ago. And even though I have close relatives, my sport families have become my biggest support systems.
When I see my track and footballs team, I see my brother and sisters.
We are often there for each other on and off the field, no questions asked. To me it doesn’t matter how great the problem is, I will always be there for my team mates and they will always be there for me.
I know it wouldn’t be a family without a home. My home is both the track and field. They are always there for me, day and night, and have been around longer than some of my relatives.
Although a family is crucial, I know first hand it can be a privilege to have.
For those of you out there without one, don’t give up on finding one. Look around you and build one. Find people who will be there for you and will help you succeed and reach your goals.
It took me awhile to find mine, but I finally found my family when I joined sports. I know it can feel daunting to feel like you’re alone, but I want to remind you that you’re not.
There will always be people willing to form a bond with you, whether you’re related or not.
Alex Salas is a 17 year old high school junior and veteran youth reporter at We’Ced. A huge sports enthusiast, he loves to workout and hopes to one day attend the Olympics. He believes he can make change in the community and helps in the efforts to make Merced a better place. Being engaged has helped him positively impact those around him.