by Harry Grigorian '19
“Mind, Body, and Spirit.” These three entities are treasured above all else at St. Albans, as they should be. We spend 4-5 hours per day nourishing our minds and 2 chapels a week (along with prayers at the bookends of lunch) feeding our spirit, so where do our bodies fit in? Clearly, the period from 3:30-6 is reserved for that cause. One who embraces this trifecta will emerge from the Cathedral with his diploma as a young man with outrageous intelligence, sound morals, and healthy habits: a true St. Albans man. The objective of our school is to create multidimensional students, not just ones who specialize in math or in football or in singing. We want to succeed in all three. Intramurals does nothing towards that end.
Don’t mistake me. Our intramurals coaches (at least, to the extent that I have heard) do a phenomenal job of keeping boys active and giving them fun activities. But it lacks in two elements of the “body” point.
First, there is no team element. For those who don’t know, intramurals meets during the regular sports time and plays games like basketball, soccer, or football. However, there is no team, no camaraderie. I’ve made some of my best friends through athletics, and have grown close to my coaches. With my teammates, I have gone through strenuous workouts, I have traveled to a number of different states, and I have won and lost Championships with them wearing the crest on our chests. These moments have played a decisive role in defining my high school experience. That bond lacks in intramurals. We often discuss our “brotherhood” that exists as strong as ever, but that bond should not break after 3:30.
Second, intramurals does not do nearly enough to encourage personal fitness. Again, I don’t blame the coaches here, but 45 minutes of pickup soccer does not match a cross country run, tennis practice, or crew row. Even those who play more stationary sports (baseball, golf, etc.) have a stake in maintaining their health, as it will still impact their play. If we want all boys to leave STA with healthy habits, why would we allow anyone to fall short of this mark?
I’ve often heard the phrase “I’m not interested in any of X Season’s sports.” While I’ll concede that adding a few sports (particularly one in the Fall) would allow more boys an opportunity to play a sport they love, the excuse remains invalid. Entering my freshman year, I was in the same boat, but a few friends and I decided to run cross country. I was horrible at first (my first time was around 29 minutes), but I loved the atmosphere. I fell for running and was continually motivated by my teammates, and ultimately, I found great success on the 5k course by junior year. To those of you in intramurals: go out, try a new sport. Perhaps you’ll fall in love with it, perhaps not, but regardless, you will achieve a monumental success crucial to your time at STA.