Personal Perspective: Regan Guirguis

Sports editor Regan Guirguis shares her history of being defined by sports and how theater has allowed her to find a community she loves.

For as long as I can remember, I was always defined by one thing: sports. Whether it was running, football, lacrosse, baseball or softball, I was always part of a team. But the first sport that I ever really played was baseball.

I started playing baseball when I moved to New York at the age of five and didn’t stop until high school. I fell in love with the smell of the fresh cut grass and the sound of the ball hitting my glove. I fell in love with the adrenaline rush from running the bases and the ringing in my hands after I hit a ball.

Above all, I fell in love with being a part of a team.

Baseball was my first community in a new, big city; it helped me fit in and feel part of something bigger … right up until it didn’t. I had been on co-ed teams before, but in seventh grade, I became the first girl to ever try out and make the boys baseball team at my middle school. That’s when I realized I was no longer a baseball player — I was the girl who played baseball.

That’s when things started to change. It felt as if everything I was doing was to prove myself to others rather than for my love of the game. I no longer fit in and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I tried playing softball briefly in my freshman year before COVID-19 hit and in the spring of my sophomore year at TPHS. Softball was fun and it helped me make friends, but there was something missing. Since I was already so disconnected from the sport, I no longer felt the spark of being part of a team. I had lost my community.

Then, in the fall of my junior year, I was convinced by one of my friends to audition for the fall play. I ended up getting a part in “Peter and the Starcatcher.” After the first rehearsal, I went home feeling confident and happy. It no longer felt as if there was pressure for me to be perfect. I was finally able to have fun again. There might have been times when I messed up the blocking, or stumbled through a line, but that didn’t matter. Everyone was so welcoming and supportive. I would walk through the doors onto the stage and forget about everything that happened at school. I was no longer Regan Guirguis: I was Robert Falcon Scott, captain of the fastest ship on the sea. I had found my spark in this new community of people who pushed each other forward and learned from one another.

Soon enough, the Performing Arts Center felt like a second home. There was a new drive and passion that filled my heart, something that I hadn’t felt since my first baseball game. What I discovered in theater went beyond performing. Even when I didn’t make the cast for the winter musical, I asked to volunteer, just to be a part of the team in some way. I ended up co-choreographing the production and eventually was named co-student director. I’m now directing our fall play in my senior year and couldn’t be happier.

I’ve found a new community: one that has taught me how to be confident in myself and my abilities and to never back down from a challenge. Theater showed me that every part of a team is equally important. For me, being a part of a team was never about winning a game – it was about having a community that respects and helps one another.

I’ll always love baseball and am forever grateful for the lessons I learned from playing sports. In the end, I realize that I’m not defined by what sport I play or what activity I’m involved in. What gives me joy is being part of a community – one to which I can contribute and one that helps me grow as a person.

There’s a chance that three years from now I won’t be in theater anymore, but I know that no matter what, I’ll find a community and a team to be a part of – one that I love and makes me feel loved in return.

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