Picture this: a locker room. A Jackson Pollock of Siberian mud on the floor, steam in the air (from the showers), and an overwhelming smell of victory. Tay-K’s “I <3 My Choppa” is blasting from a JBL Charge 5 on the ground. The boys, as they say, are buzzing. For four years, I have been one of those boys. Sometimes late to practice, but always dialed in on game day. On the clock, 25/8.
Being a JV lacrosse student-athlete has taught me so much. I have become more confident in my body. Spending time around my teammates before, after, and during showers has taught me to love what God has given me, however small or average it may be.
Also, my time in the locker room has given me the opportunity to combat toxic masculinity. As a male student athlete, I know the struggles women endure and their struggles have bettered me as a person. If any of my teammates even whisper the P-word, I make sure to knock some sense into them. I tell them, “if you are going to refer to something as ‘weak,’ testes would be the more appropriate word,” followed with a knee to the crotch to really drive the point home. I am a great teammate who values accountability.
My experiences on this team have also made me more environmentally conscious. In four years, I’ve washed my one towel three times. Just considering how much water I’ve saved is mind-boggling (smart word I learned in English class this week). All those times I’ve been asked to wash the towel, or been told that it’s a biohazard, or when the lab results came back and the towel was carrying an undiscovered STD, I’ve been doing my part for our planet. I even started a climate coalition amongst the team. We made a pact to never waste water on washing a towel.
My locker room experience has made me more self-confident, socially aware, and genuinely passionate about climate activism. It’s not just about the wins and trophies, but about the journey and the camaraderie.