...General: Life Lessons

Faith in Skepticism

Continual Side Note to Blog: I should preface this blog entry by explaining that I have an extremely sensitive allergy to poison ivy. I don’t even need to touch the plant to contract a few bubbly, itchy bumps. If the wind blows the plant’s infectious aura in my direction, I’m done for. This ailment will arise multiple times in my blog because just about every summer in high school I got a bad case of poison ivy and had an unfortunate experience due to the contagion.

The summer before junior year of high school I somehow came into contact with poison ivy and of course developed a rash all over my body. It was a case that required a visit to the doctor who prescribed corticosteroids to alleviate and eventually erase my itchy bumps.

To make matters even more uncomfortable, my field hockey team was participating in a district-wide, pre-season tournament in the form of a three-day, round-robin game schedule. When it was not our team’s turn to be on the field for a game we would escape the scorching sun by either traveling to the locker room for a team chat or huddling under our team’s tent.

Since it was a hot summer and because I was playing back-to-back competitive field hockey games, I was keeping myself well-hydrated and thought nothing of my thirst. I did however find my routine trips to the restroom a bit baffling, but assumed that this may be related to the prescribed steroids in my system doing their job to flush out my poison ivy rash. This pattern continued for the first half of the tournament.

I had mentioned the irregularity to my mom and some close friends and we all just attributed my condition to the prescription I was taking. But considering the amount of energy and perspiration I was exerting I couldn’t help but wonder how I had any excess fluids in me to dispel. So my mom decided to check the label on the prescription to verify that thirst and excess urination were, in fact, side effects. Turns out the pharmacy had mixed up my corticosteroid medication with an 84-year-old woman’s diuretic prescription.

Moral of the story is that even (especially) authorities—in this case the pharmacist—get things wrong sometimes. Too much trust in someone or something can be just as detrimental as no reliance at all. In any team situation a balance of skepticism and confidence, doubt and dependency, is necessary to reach the ultimate goal. In a field hockey game, the specific placement of forwards, midfielders and defenders is no arbitrary arrangement. The coach’s objective in creating a lineup is to provide a solid mix of offense and defense. The players coordinate and communicate as a team in an effort to beat their opponents.

My field hockey team didn’t win the tournament. We placed somewhere in the average, middle ranks and walked away not as champions and not as losers. Ultimately, a preseason preparation, the tournament offered some valuable insight not only into our competitors’ weaknesses, but also into that of our own team.




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