Many of you probably don’t know that I grew up playing softball and continued to play throughout college. It isn’t because I don’t LOVE to talk about it – It’s probably more so that EVERY time I talk about it, I have this aching pain in my chest to play again. Like, really play again. Not slow pitch. It’s NOT the same. Note: ESPECIALLY for a PO (pitcher only) that really can’t hit… Slow pitch isn’t even close LOL
It sounds pretty cliché when I type it out, but ask any former athlete and I bet they know that pain I’m referring to. I remember vividly my last summer of competitive ball – a high school graduate heading into my first season at William Woods. My Dad told me to “soak up every minute” over and over again. I didn’t get it then, but I do now. I remember again during my senior campaign at William Woods how we documented every moment and game so carefully – we knew the time & this “era” as he would often call it was slipping away. Those were the days.
I know I’ll look back on so many seasons of life and think “those were the days” but man, I really miss a quick hamburger between games 4 and 5 of the day, permanent tan lines from my jersey, and late night hotel parties where we dyed our hair pink (@Central Missouri Crush). I really miss our sleepovers at Coach Deys and our state championship run (@ Jefferson City High School). And I really, really, really miss turf room shenanigans, the word of the day, and phone-less bus rides (@ William Woods University Softball).
It’s probably because it was the last (sports) team I was a part of (and most definitely the people I was surrounded by) but there was something truly special about softball at William Woods. You can’t really describe it so I won’t try – if you know, you know. And if you’re reading this and you know, that means we’re forever bonded by our time on the field together. Gah. I AM SUCH A SAP. SEE, maybe THIS is why I haven’t really wrote a blog about softball yet… Anyway, here I am. Twenty-seven years old, married, with an almost-one-year-old. Almost six years ago (gasp!), I left the field for the very last time. I cried and cried and cried imagining a life without softball – and I guess some days I still do ;) You leave that world behind and suddenly you’re immersed in “real” jobs, paying bills, and having to cook dinner (Tucker, where you at??). You find yourself looking back at those EASY days that you thought were so hard. Swim workout at 5AM, Coach Jones workout, class all day, and then a LATE practice and TARP afterward?? Is Coach CRAZY?! She knew one day we’d start our mornings out early to try to get a few things done before the world woke up. She knew one day we’d have days packed full of meetings and work and then STILL have to go home and take care of the house. She knew. So Coach, if you read this, THANK YOU. Thank you for my teammates and my second family at William Woods. Thank you for the chance to play softball with the most incredible women ever. Thank you for pushing us to all be better and leave the world a better place. HOOT HOOT! Who wants to break out the gloves and cleats now??? I mean, surely I can still pitch, right???