March 10, 2023 | SPORTS | By Olivia Weinstein
I was studying the fine and delicate letters that embellished my friend’s sleek “Tuft’s Rowing” jacket, blissfully sinking my teeth into a warm tuna melt, when the warm-sandwich-induced euphoria vanished as quickly as it had arrived.
I had been labeled a “N.A.R.P.”
As I sat there, defeated and unfamiliar with the term, my proud Division III athlete friend explained to me that the acronym stands for ‘non-athletic regular person.’ Despite my awe for my friend’s achievement in her sport and the grit and strength that rowing demands, it was in this moment of agony that I reflected on our many shared games of pick-up sports and her unfavorable display of athleticism (to put it nicely).
Before the rowing community is quick to challenge me to a face-off with their oars and long legs, I do not mean to say that rowing doesn’t require athleticism. Rather, being labeled a NARP seemed to strike a nerve; it minimized a lifetime of traveling along the east coast for soccer games, training as a competitive ski racer seven days a week, and surviving many sweltering summer lacrosse camps.
Of course, maybe if I had tried harder, I would be sporting a fresh team jacket, too.
When I arrived at college and my afternoons were no longer dedicated to hopeless attempts of encouraging my teammates in small-sided soccer games or booting up to ski in bone-chilling weather, I was abruptly confronted with a loss of purpose and a craving for a competitive outlet.
I quickly discovered that I, among many headstrong East Coast-ers, was not alone in this itch.
Tori Kendeigh, a Maine native, said that she really misses lacrosse and the “comradery, competitiveness, and culture” that accompanies it. And thus, intramural lacrosse was born: a non-Colorado College affiliated, lively yet serious collection of lacrosse loving individuals.
We East Coast-ers may not have the same advantages skiing fluffy moguls down Copper Bowl, but we sure know how to rally an enthusiastic group to play an (arguably) over-complicated and physical game of lacrosse.
The idea first appeared in conversation with friend, and fellow NARP, Gray Rager, after we both acknowledged the unexplainable absence of an intramural lacrosse team on campus. Following a risky email to Athletic Director Chris Starr, and then a semi-successful meeting, we determined that the team would remain (indefinitely) unofficial. Wasting no time, the networking began, a GroupMe was formed and, as Rager praises, “a family was born.”
Although our practices involve more chatting than playing and less shots on goal than missed ground balls (pending the arrival of an actual goal), the formation of a group to unite in a shared interest nurtures a certain sense of gratitude and pride. The common transition from a high school tri-varsity athlete to college intramural sport fanatic illuminates an evolving identity; one that is no longer marked by long-winded sprints but by a symphony of laughter and cheer.
I guess it’s not so bad being a NARP, after all.