Are you prepared for battle, trooper? Do you have what it takes to survive marine warfare?
First, you need all the necessary gear:
Flip flops? Check.
Sure, you can go to the Swim Center to do what the responsible athletes do and swim laps. Swimming laps is great exercise, and the pool at Pensacola Christian College works great for a good aquatic workout.
That’s a good warm up and everything . . . but once you’ve taken a few minutes to splash around and dive off the diving board, you’re ready for the main event. This event occurs on a weekly basis—or, rather, it occurs any time there are guys in the pool. And it’s not so much an “event” as it is a war—a war in the water.
Yes. I am speaking of Water Polo.
Water polo is where boys become men (and men become boys). It’s a perilous prizefight between two teams with one goal in mind: get the ball in the net. It’s similar to soccer and perhaps hockey, but there’s one catch.
You play in the water. That’s right. You pass the ball, you throw the ball, you tackle the ball, you dive for the ball, you splash for the ball, you scream for the ball—actually, you do anything short of drowning for that ball. It commands your attention. When the ball is in your grasp, you are Poseidon and the pool is your sea. All eyes are on you, so what will you do?
How to score:
Grasp the ball in two hands and submerge to the depths below. Avoid the clawing hands and the tackles of your adversaries. Harness all of your energy and spring skyward, lurching out of the water like a titan. As you rise above the tumult of water, sling the ball with all of your might, as if you were a Greek and the ball was your discus. If you are successful, the ball will smash into the net of the goal. You have scored. That sound that you hear is the applause of roaring crowds and ringing trumpets. (Actually it’s probably water in your ears.)
If, however, you miss the goal, the situation is entirely different. You are no longer the hunted—you are the hunter. You must find the ball and recover it at all costs. Let no one stand (or swim) in your way. If they splash, be not deterred. Splash back, grit your teeth, and fight through the stinging chlorine that burns your eyes (or goes down your throat). This, you see, is all part of the game.
So next time you find yourself bored walking the sidewalks at night, listen for the sounds of war echoing from the walls of the PCC Swim Center. The splashing, the screaming, the scoring—it’s all calling your name.
If you have never tested your grit in the infamous hydro-dome, what are you waiting for? Will you be a titan of the water? Or will you be one of the many timid souls who walk by the Swim Center, never knowing victory or defeat?
Let the games begin.