The time has finally come. My softball career has officially ended (10 days ago). The practices that felt like they’d never end, the countless hours on a bus and the workouts that made me feel like death; they’ve all ended.
When they told me it would go by fast I really had no idea how fast and I’ll be the first to say, I still feel like freshman year was yesterday. I vividly remember moving into my dorm room and meeting the team for the first time.
But despite it being the end of a huge chapter in my life, I am content, I am relieved and I am thankful for all the things that softball has given me (especially in the last four years). I can’t help but reflect and be happy for the amazing things softball brought into my life. Softball provided me with an incredible opportunity to earn a college degree, it taught me life lessons and skills and most of all, it gave me lifelong relationships with amazing people.
Although there will come a time where I miss the game and I will miss the grind of being an athlete, more than anything I will miss the moments spent with my teammates. I will miss seeing them each and every day (multiple times a day). I think I might even miss the long bus rides and the random conversations with them. There’s even a possibility that I will miss the 6am workouts. However, I think it’ll be awhile before I miss the bus rides and the workouts.
I can say for sure that my body is extremely relieved. The bumps, the bruises, the pulled muscles and the sore arm are all crying tears of joy. I know I am not “old” but there are days that my body feels like it and I am excited to have a time of recovery and relaxation.
For the last 18 years of my life I have called myself an athlete and for the last 12 years I have dedicated a copious amount of time to softball and becoming a better player. I fell in love with the game and I can still say I love it. I love what it has given me and I will forever cherish the memories and lessons. I have met amazing people and mentors. Softball has played an integral role in my life and I can wholeheartedly say that I would not be who I am or where I am without the game.
With that being said, there’s certainly an adjustment period and a time of transition. I have already caught myself saying “I play softball” and quickly correcting myself to say “I PLAYED softball”, I am no longer an athlete and that’s the weirdest part of it all. Now, I have to mentally prepare myself for days filled with work and adult responsibilities instead of sports and homework. My mind is already racing with ways I can pass time and new hobbies that I can pick up (and ways to earn money).
But… thank you softball for giving me something to work for, for giving me a college education and for putting amazing people in my life. Thank you for teaching me to get up when I got knocked down and for teaching me to never give up. You’ll always be my favorite sport.
Thank you to each and every coach that pushed me when it was the last thing I wanted to do and for teaching me that failure is part of success. Thank you helping me become the person I am today. You have a special place in my heart.
Thank you to my teammates that made the bad days better. Thank you for pushing me during every workout and every practice. Thank you for being the sisters I never had and for being the best support system. You really are family.
And most of all, thank you to my parents to driving me to practice all those years, for paying for me to fly all over the country and for showing up to every game of my senior year (it meant more than you know). Your support was truly incredible and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without. I love you to the moon and back.
I may not be an athlete anymore but maybe someday I will be a coach and have another amazing opportunity to teach the game that gave me so much.
I am beyond excited for the future and for what life has in store for me.
Cheers to the end of a chapter and cheers to a new one.