Every other year a new flock of athletes are forced with no other option but to retire their jersey, putting their athletic career in the past. Unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to be one of the ‘freakish’ athletes like Manhattanville Graduate Jack Bramswick, 13’ who casually decided to take the path as a professional athlete. But the ones that are not so lucky are categorized as Non-Athletic Regular Person (N.A.R.P.).
In this case, the term applies to athletes who have just finished up their career and now have to deal with an open schedule. However, the term applies to almost everyone who isn’t on a varsity sport, the students who partake in the occasional gym session or light jog.
For myself and the former athletes who have recently retired this is something new that we have to adapt to. Juggling schedules filled to the brim with the weekly practices, academics, and squeezing in whatever the social event would be for the week has definitely been as close as you can get to second nature for most athletes.
Ultimately, stopping these daily routines has hit my former NARPs and I with all sorts of emotions. Following the first couple of weeks after the soccer season was over, I really began to question just about everything because figuring out a new hobby on a college campus is pretty easy to pick up.
At first my initial response was denial. No doubt in my mind. After handing in the jersey, with the rest of my gear, I realized how much it all meant to me. Firstly, I’ll state the obvious for all former athletes and say we will all miss the extra free clothing that some big-name brand has blessed our school with. This may seem odd now that I hear it from the other side, but the gear was by no stretch of the imagination easy to give up.
Coming back to school a week earlier than every other student,
before summer ends, is definitely tough when you know all of your friends are home either partying, or making money at their summer jobs. But knowing you’re coming back to a locker room filled with new gear makes the adjustment from summer to the start of a season a whole lot easier.
To say the least the slow adjustment to entering this new world of being a NARP is tough for former athletes. Not because they won’t get new gear next season or any other flashy reason you can think of, but because we have to stop doing the one thing we’ve done since we were babies, sports. Having a new schedule of no longer going to the occasional lift or daily practices is something that I always looked forward to in the past, but is definitely something I will dearly miss.