By Anant Mundra, Men's Tennis
Not too long ago, I was laying in the warm sand of Miami Beach and in the blink of an eye, my world changed. Our world changed. On March 12th, 2020, the Patriot League elected to cancel all athletic competition. A few hours later, the NCAA announced the cancellation of all winter and spring sports. This effectively retired all senior athletes. When I heard the news, my world stopped. There was no more next season. This was IT.
I immediately called my parents and told them the news. They could hear the sadness in my voice, but they could not relate. While our world was experiencing a pandemic, how could I worry about my tennis season? Instead, they congratulated me on a fruitful 15 years and expressed their pride in all I had accomplished in the sport. They recommended I do the same. And I did. I felt sorrow but I also felt relief. It was finally over. I would miss fighting on the courts with my brothers, but I welcomed the beginning of new endeavors. So, I said my goodbyes and walked off the courts with my brothers, one last time.
COVID-19 has affected everyone. Heck, here I am writing this note between virtual classes, confined to my California home. But, through all its negatives, COVID-19 has provided me with the greatest resource: time. Time to spend with my family, time to catch up with old friends, and, most importantly, time to reflect. Through this, I have been able to reflect on my journey to and through West Point. And there is nothing else I can say but thank you.
Throughout my childhood, Saturday mornings meant tennis. And I hated the sport. Tennis was my enemy. My parents would drag me to the courts, tolerate my tantrums, and reward me for simply hitting the ball over the net. Little did I know it would shape me into who I am today.
Slowly, it grew on me. I began to play twice a week, then four times a week, and then every day. Ultimately, rain or shine, I would be on the courts. I vividly remember my mother and I playing during a downpour. When the rain got heavier, we would sit under the bench, hoping for it to pass. Read more.