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Who We Are

An insightful initiative, Who We Are, provides an inside look into the personal lives of the MIT Recreational Sports staff.  Each month, a member of the team will provide an insightful passage about their personal goals, accomplishments, and even setbacks.  Make sure to check back frequently for updates!


Esther Wallace

Esther Wallace, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications

Lessons From Sports

Years ago I never thought fitness, athletics, or recreation would be a part of who I am. I was an art nerd who didn’t have a single athletic bone in my body – or so I thought. However, I was six-feet tall by the time I was 14 and it seemed like everyone around me was urging me to play basketball.

I was 15 when I joined my High School JV Basketball team and looking back, I couldn’t imagine my life if I hadn’t. Those high school games, summer basketball trips, early morning college workouts and overseas headaches really made me the person that I am today. The reason I now work in marketing for recreation is because of the impact that sports and fitness have had on my growth. More specifically, through basketball I’ve had teammates who have supported me, coaches who have brought out the best in me, and players who have inspired me – why wouldn’t I want to share that? If I could compile everything that I have gained from basketball into something, I would. Until I figure out how to do that, I will just share some of the lessons that I have learned:

I learned how to be confident. Starting out, all of my teammates were far more advanced than me (one of my high school teammates was nationally ranked as the #12 player in the country). The first person who told me I had potential as a basketball player was my AAU coach.  He would always tell me “the sky is the limit”. It was as though he sold me a dream and I bought it. Not only did he help build my confidence as a basketball player, but he’s my inspiration for helping young people find their confidence and believe in their potential.

I learned how to embrace challenges. My college coach and my strength and conditioning coach were always pushing me to do something: more pull-ups; more repetitions; add more weight; run faster; jump higher; show more energy. They also never made anything easy for me! When my hands were bruised and callused they still insisted that I do more pull ups. When I struggled my senior year and was feeling like I let my team down, my coach never stopped helping me be a better leader. They taught me how great the feeling is when you breakthrough your own limitations, whether physical or mental. That’s now the best feeling in the world to me!

I learned how to teach. I often refer to my time overseas as full of headaches because I was so sleep deprived that every day around 2 PM I would have a headache. I still had to practice, condition, go to class, and study but more importantly I still had to coach. No matter how tired I was I pulled together enough energy and effort to coach my two hour practices for my girls. They taught me how to be a good teacher as I grew more patient and understanding with them, but also as I realized that the true reward from my job as their coach was in observing their confidence grow each game.

Honestly, I laugh at how stubborn I was as a child not wanting to play sports. While it was absolutely scary to join an environment that I was unaccustomed to, it was also absolutely worth it!

- Esther


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Stephanie Kloos
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Jason Erbse

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Saunya Urban

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