I have been enjoying my winter semester from Cornell–5 weeks of relaxation and reflection time!! I had a couple of projects to work on over this time off. The most prominent of these projects is my Dream Team fundraising that I have been working on since the end of the Sprint Football season last month. I will also get back to posting more regularly, now with finals over. I am also pretty excited to start working on getting better for football next fall, getting faster, stronger, and more flexible. Lastly I am extremely excited because the end of my Winter Recess will be highlighted with a trip to Disneyland in Anaheim and a trip to the CalArts campus in Valencia. I am especially excited to make the pilgrimage to the CalArts campus as I hope to study there after Cornell in the School of Theater’s Production or Production Management Masters in Fine Arts programs.
Let’s rewind to August first though. I got to Ithaca in really good shape and ready for the start of season. I was the strongest I had ever been and exceeded my expectations on pretty much almost all testing areas. I was especially proud of improvements in body composition (no thanks to my August trip to the World and my attack on the Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream), bench press, and the 10 yard dash. I was hopeful and optimistic that I would see an increase in playing time hoping to start on a special teams unit. The only problem was getting down to playing weight, and more specifically making hydrated certification. Throughout the season I was cutting around 9 or 10 pounds twice a week to get under the league weight limit. After two or three unsuccessful attempts I finally made hydrated certification, and was on my way to the start of season. The weight cutting process certainly took a small toll on my strength but that was to be expected. I was a little rusty with my technique, but as practices started I continued my improvement as a football player.
Now lets fast-forward to week 3 of the regular season. I had gotten some playing time in our preseason scrimmage but I was beginning to get concerned. I was certainly disappointed, upset, and angry that we lost each of our first two games, both of which were on the road. However I also was disappointed that at that I had not been able to contribute in our first two games. I felt like I wasn’t making the progress the team needed from me or I expected from myself. To make matters even worse by tying both my personal and team success to my Dream Team fundraising efforts, my early season disappointments as a team and as an individual made me feel like I was letting the Make-A-Wish children down. I had committed to working as hard as I could to get game action and to help contribute a winning team not just out of my own competitiveness and passion for football, but also to make it mean something a little extra by relating it to my wishes to send sick children to my other passion, Walt Disney World.
Heading into our third game though my coach informed me that I had been placed on our kickoff return unit blocking on the front line. For the remaining five games I played on this unit. This included during our dramatic last minute win against Mansfield University (during which I also recorded my first pancake block), and during our blowout win over Princeton. During our Princeton win I also played a series at my natural position, left tackle and played a couple of snaps at nose tackle. Having only played in one game last year, I was extremely proud of my improvement, playing in 5 of our 7 matchups. I look forward to next season but know that I have tons of areas to work on my games. Despite a disappointing 2-5 season this past year our team is young and will improve heading into next year. Most importantly, since the end of the season I have been working diligently to fundraise for the Dream Team and have raised $760!
And now for this week’s Would You Rather…Disney Edition!
Would you rather spend this weekend…..
Option A: Watching Frozen
Option B: Watching Saving Mr. Banks
Cast your vote below, and we will discuss the winning choice next week!
Photos from my personal collection
Benjamin Greenberg is a sophomore at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, who is passionate about Walt Disney World, the Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Pixar. He is proud to play offensive line for the Cornell University Sprint Football team and is the recorder for Sigma Nu Gamma Theta Chapter.