I went back and forth with what I thought I should write about for this week's column.
After a lot of thought, I decided to stray from my normal ramblings about McNeese State athletics and go with more of a life column. Don't you worry, next week I'll be back talking about Cowboys and Cowgirls athletics.
But this week, there's something I've been thinking about since COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, took away our sports and forced us into social isolation for the time being.
We as a society tend to want what we don't have at that moment.
What am I talking about? I'll give an example that a lot of people can probably relate to: I went out of town for college to Jacksonville University.
Most of my family is split between the metropolitan Atlanta area and the south Florida area. Jacksonville, Florida, is about halfway between those two areas. But whenever I was at school, dealing with the good and bad of being a student, I longed to go home for a little bit. All of the assignments that were due, the running and weightlifting for football and other things got to be tiring. I wanted to go home and see family, whether it was my mom and siblings in Atlanta, or my dad and grandparents in south Florida.
Then I got home. After a few days of pleasantries and being happy to see family that I haven't seen in a few months, reality set in. Chores that I could easily put off living in my college dorm or apartment, had to be done with quickness back at home. Yeah, I was happy to get some home cooking, but I forgot how accustomed I got to going out and not worrying about my grandma (rest in peace Barbara Berry) staying up late waiting on me to come home.
My point is, people tend to want whatever they can't have at that very moment. Plenty of people complain about being too busy at work or wanting to work from home. With the spread of the coronavirus forcing "non-essential" workers either out of a job or to work remotely, they aren't getting out of their homes as much as normal. And guess what? All of a sudden, it's not so bad to go to work and get some friendly work conversations in, is it?
March is normally one of the busiest times of the year for sports journalists, with winter sports championships colliding with spring sports getting into conference/district play.
I'll admit, there were times before all the sporting events got canceled that I longed for the summer when I could have a couple of days off. But now that the days away from covering games came so unexpectedly, I definitely miss the feeling of taking my bag out of my car, throwing my lanyard on my neck with my media credential at my stomach, and walking into a game. I miss the rush of filing a story on deadline. I miss it all.
And think about the athletes. For most of their lives they've had regimented and highly structured schedules to lift, run, practice, play, rest, recover and repeat. Now that schedule has been thrown all out of order because it's not all that safe to have groups of 10 or more together.
I said it when I was in college, and there are athletes thinking it now, the idea of having a lot of time off sounds great. They can rest, play video games, workout a little if they want to, but enjoy life. That's until you don't know for sure when you can go back to your normal life as a student-athlete. All of a sudden, it's not so fun.
You miss being in the locker room with your teammates. The thrill of taking the field or court isn't there and it won't be there for a while.
This situation has made me appreciate that much more what I'm able to do on a daily basis, and believe me, I already thought of myself as fortunate. I think this absence from sports will make everybody better in the long run, even though the situation stinks right now.
Everyone from athletes to coaches to journalists to commentators and sports information directors will come back hungrier than ever to do their jobs and deliver a good product (SIDs have such hectic schedules that they may enjoy this unexpected time off too).
Hopefully we can all get back to normal as soon as is safely possible and realize just how much we missed sports.
David Berry covers McNeese State athletics. Email him at email@example.com