Embracing the Joy of Loss: A Heartfelt Reflection on Dabney’s Spirited Interhouse Basketball Season

From the athman of a house that never shows up

    	Interhouse basketball just finished, and I would like to reflect on the season. Dabney showed up to a full 3 out of our 7 games and proudly lost all of them. Personally, I scored a whole one point for my team which is more than I ever could have imagined given basketball is my least favorite sport and I don’t actually know all the rules.

    	Despite all this, I still had a lot of fun. Sure, getting dunked on repeatedly across two 15 minute halves might not seem appealing, but I managed to enjoy myself throughout all the losing we were doing. Interhouse sports are a fun way for me to get exercise and relax from doing my sets. They are a set 2 hours a week (or, let’s face it, maybe 1 hour every other week if I’m lucky) during which I can just have fun, exercise, and not have to worry about my sets. Exercise is a great way to destress and helps keep me sane. I might be bad at basketball, but even so I still spend my time running up and down the court trying in vain to stand in front of people at least a foot taller than me to stop them from scoring.

    	The other reason I enjoy interhouse sports is the community, or if you’ll forgive me the cliché, the people. I get to play sports with 5 other darbs who I enjoy hanging out with in a non set based environment. Some of my first social interactions with people in my house back when I was a frosh were from playing dodgeball with them. Losing badly, together, is probably one of the best bonding activities out there, aside from maybe actually winning.

    	And the social interaction doesn’t just come from within the house, after all, it's called _inter_house for a reason. It is fun to see people from other houses and play sports with them, especially when I know them and get to chuck a dodgeball at them. But even beyond that, the community of people who show up to interhouse sports is incredibly kind and inviting. Multiple times people who are not in Dabney have come to play with us because we were short people, or they just wanted to play. And many times, after it's clear Dabney has lost anyway our opponents will lend us players. I think it’s a microcosm of the collaborative Caltech spirit, even if you can really collaborate on a basketball game. The people just want to play basketball and they’ll do it even if they’re technically on the opposing (losing) side.

    	Maybe this article will convince more darbs to play sports but I’m not hopeful. Darbs are not the most athletically inclined of people even despite my affirmation that you don’t have to be good at a sport to play. Still, I look forward to interhouse frisbee next term. With any luck we might manage to win a game! (Although the odds of that happening are incredibly low.)