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The Mirror

The student website of Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California
The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Super athlete: Why pick one sport when you can sweat through five?

In the grand tradition of teenage overachievement, senior Joselyn Giron conjured up quite the audacious plan last summer.
FIVE-STAR WONDER: Senior Joselyn Giron has held a passion for sports since she was six, with her most recent endeavor being basketball.

The abridged version of this article appeared in the June. 2023 print edition of The Mirror. This is an uncut version.

In the grand tradition of teenage overachievement, senior Joselyn Giron conjured up quite the audacious plan last summer.

She set her sights on a lofty goal – to juggle not one, not two, but five school sports. Now, as the school year is in its twilight weeks, she’s on the brink of turning this wild ambition into a sweat-soaked reality. She’s graced the fields and courts of the varsity soccer team, varsity basketball team, junior varsity volleyball team, varsity track and field team, and varsity softball team. Talk about not knowing when to take a breather.

When she was six – back when finger-painting was still a challenging task for most – Giron took her first kick at organized sports. She was thrown into the mixed-gender chaos of a soccer team dubbed ‘Real Madrid’. She described the experience as equally thrilling and challenging, an adrenaline-infused introduction that sent her off on a lifelong love affair with sports.

“Growing up, I really didn’t have an idol or inspiration to keep playing soccer, except for my parents who continued to support my passion and push me and support me at every game,” Giron said. Since then, I fell in love with playing sports and my passion grew and grew. Now, I play multiple sports.”

In her junior year, Giron cast her hat into the ring for the girls soccer team at Van Nuys. As a center midfield and sometimes striker, she swatted away opponent goals like flies and kept the ball churning upfield.

“The position I played in soccer made the sport fun and worth playing,” Giron said. “Also, was another reason I did soccer, because of how much of a good and supporting coach he was.”

The team put together an adequate season with a 4-7 record, including a triumphant victory over the Monroe Vikings by 2-1 in the first round of playoffs. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Their playoff dreams were crushed on Valentine’s Day, when they fell to the Canoga Park Hunters 0-4. Win some, lose some.

After a grueling soccer season in her junior year, Giron was nudged into the world of track by her coach. Oddly enough, the nudge pushed her into a fresh, new love for sports.

“It wasn’t just the pressure from my coach to keep going that made me want to continue,” Giron said. “I found a passion for the sport.”

Giron took to the track like a cheetah to the savanna, her innate speed and agility carving her a niche as a sprinter. Her junior year saw her and her team blaze past their competitors, grabbing first place in the 4×100 relay event at the Valley Mission League Finals. They didn’t just win – they took home gold.

“Being in track was a really fun experience that I enjoyed the most, including the fact that there are a variety of events to participate in,” Giron said.

Giron decided to kick off this school year by diving headfirst into junior varsity volleyball, stepping into the role of an outside hitter. Seemingly always in the right place at the right time, she became a point-scoring machine, sending spikes to wherever the opposition wasn’t. Despite the team’s 3-9 record – a rough season – she cherished the bonding time with her teammates.

“I had an amazing experience with volleyball because I was able to meet new people, as well as discover my newfound talent in the sport,” Giron said. “Playing volleyball has given me a bunch of new and fun memories.”

After track, Giron was charmed into the wild world of basketball by an encouraging teammate. Standing firm as a defensive guard, she took on the challenge of handling the opposing team’s best player. Sporting a solid 7-5 record, her team was swept from the playoffs in round one, a reality check that fairy tale endings aren’t guaranteed.

“Playing basketball was really fun because I got to play with all my friends and it kept me going,” Giron said.

Then came the curtain call: softball season. With track and softball sharing the stage, Giron juggled between practices and games like a pro circus performer. Despite ending on a less-than-stellar 0-10 note, Giron tackled the softball diamond, whether she was catching high-flyers in the outfield or grounding them in the infield.

Giron’s secret to packing a four-to-five-hour daily practice, occasionally upped by a serving of track and softball, without going cuckoo? Supreme time management, of course.

“I manage to do all the sports that I’ve done by altering the time that I would practice for each sport,” she said. “I would alternate when I would go to my basketball and soccer games, the same way I do with my softball and track games.”

Despite the maddening maze of due assignments and exams, Giron didn’t morph into a frantic mess. She faced it head-on with the secret weapon of all high-achievers.

“To make sure I don’t get overwhelmed between sports and schoolwork, I learned to never procrastinate and do all my work as soon as I can,” Giron said.

In this grand sports opera, Giron also played the part of the wounded hero, with a broken bone and some bruises to show for it.

“While playing soccer, I broke my arm which caused me to miss some games for a few months.” Giron said. “After I healed, I was scared of stepping foot on the field again because I didn’t wanna get injured, but I pushed myself through it and began playing again.”

But all this drama had a silver lining: Giron’s mental health was singing a happier tune.

“These sports keep me stress free,” Giron said. “They don’t confine me. They make me feel like I’m able to do whatever I want. I am surrounded by my friends who make me forget about the annoying things, and I enjoy the moments when I’m with them.”

Giron held on tight to the thrill of victory and the warmth of friendships, her trusty lifebuoys in the sea of chaos.

“I love the feeling that courses through my body when I do something good on the field when my team needs it the most,” she said.

Beyond medals and glory, Giron scooped up invaluable lessons that will stick with her longer than any high school yearbook quote.

“In all of the sports that I’ve played, I learned to stay focused, don’t slack off, do what I love, make friends with people who push me to my limits and just have fun,” she said.

As the curtain draws on her high school journey, Giron prepares to hang up her myriad of athletic jerseys for some well-earned downtime. Family hangouts and show binging rise on her to-do list, but the athlete in her stays alert, ready to conquer the next sporting arena — college. Picking psychology as her major at Pierce College, Giron has decided to keep soccer, her cherished passion, in her college game plan.

For all the brave souls considering a multi-sport challenge, Giron tosses them some valuable advice.

Make sure you are fully committed and are ready to put the work in, striving to become better than where you started,” she said. “It will completely be worth it in the end.”

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About the Contributor
Jaden Gervacio
From watching sports to playing them, I have always been inclined to write about the new athletic events that occur at our school. As a sophomore at Van Nuys High, I am going into my second year of journalism, not just to write about the games, but to uncover the background and details of the talented athletes that play them. Whenever I’m not on my laptop typing about an athlete or game, I am trying to perfect leche flan.
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