This Saturday, the Middlebury athletic fields buzzed with activity. Starting in the middle of campus, the men’s tennis team kicked off the weekend with rounds of singles and doubles matches all day. Winding past the athletic center, women’s field hockey picked up their first win of the weekend and cheers of victory sounded from both the men’s and women’s soccer fields. The cross country team hosted their only home meet of the season and swept the top finishing spots. Even the men’s golf team played and won on home turf.
A little farther off campus, I was competing in my own sporting event – of sorts. To kick off senior year with a flourish, a group of my friends and I signed up for the Vermont Color Vibe run in Vergennes. The purpose of this 5k is twofold. One, it benefits a Vermont charity Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, a camp catered to children who have, or have had, cancer. Second (and I have to admit this was the driving factor in our signup), you get to throw paint all over your best friends while getting a little exercise. What better excuse to wake up early on a Saturday morning and support a local charity?
Despite my initial excitement at the idea, my sleepy self was skeptical when we pulled up to the race to the tune of “Gangum Style” at 8:30 in the morning. But once we got out of the car, the spirit of the event and all the brightly costumed Vermonters was absolutely infectious. We picked up our powdered paint packets and set to work tie-dying our white t-shirts. Parents, children, fluffy white dogs, and a large representation of the Middlebury swim team, laughed, danced, and painted their way to the finish line in waves of colorful enthusiasm.
All in all, it was a winning day for the Panthers and a vibrant start to a year of senior bucket lists. I’m already looking forward to the next Vermont adventure!