20120902jonclute-ar01

Just as athletes retire or their careers end, I’ll never write another column for The Collegian. Ever. As my college career comes to a close, I look back and remember some of my favorite athletic experiences: organized sports with my twin brother, Chris.

It’s hard to explain what it’s like being a twin. I mean, I’ve always been a twin and you probably haven’t, so we don’t have any common ground there. But if you are one of the sets of twins on campus, I extend to you a celebratory high-five (metaphorically speaking, of course).

My twin and I always know what the other one is thinking. This is good most of the time, but it’s kind of hard to keep secrets — fortunately, we have the same birthday, so surprise parties have never been a problem!

Growing up, we were always on different teams for pickup games or practices. Everyone assumed we would cancel each other out. Chris says I did not cancel him out, but I did.

Coaches would inevitably mix us up while giving out instruction. At a high school basketball game, my coach looked at me and said, “Chris, go in.” Now I was faced with the dilemma of deciding whether my coach actually wanted Chris to go into the game or if he wanted me to go in and said the wrong name by mistake.

In high school baseball my senior year, Chris would pinch run for me so I could get my catching gear on for the next inning. Sometimes my mom wouldn’t realize that I was no longer running the bases. Neither did the other team, for that matter. Chris claims he pinch ran for me because he is faster than me. He isn’t.

Soccer was what we played the most, and it was on the soccer field that our personalities distinguished us. I was fire, and he was ice. I had red cleats, and he wore blue. He was a defender, and I was a central midfielder. Whether some of the other teams realized there were two of us is still up for debate.

Many times a simple look was all that was needed to call for a pass. Just yelling his name was enough for him to know where I was.

We still had those moments when one of us zigged while the other zagged. After some raised eyebrows and pondering what the other one was thinking, we would realize that we already knew the answer to that question, and couldn’t believe we had thought that.

Throughout the ups and downs we made many unforgettable memories, and I will forever treasure the times we had together. There’s something special about being able to say, “I’m a twin.”