Friday, March 14, 2014 – Coastal Carolina University / Myrtle Beach, SC
As we enter hour eleven of this seemingly endless bus ride, I’m feeling regretful about how I have spent my time on this Coach bus today.
I just realized that I haven’t truly gazed out the window once in eleven hours. Through six states and an entire day of driving, I haven’t taken a single stretch of at least five minutes to take in the passing signs or various landscapes along the way. I’ve been so caught up in my own thoughts and distracted by my electronics, as well as the movies that have drowned out the moments I haven’t had my headphones in, that I’ve missed out on the sights of this journey, as well as chances to have meaningful interactions with my teammates. I didn’t seize the opportunity to see something beautiful today, gain a new perspective, or step outside of myself long enough to appreciate the experience and do something worthwhile.
Now, some might say, what is there to appreciate about a 14-hour drive on a cramped, smelly bus with 20 cranky girls? Perhaps the sight of a beautiful body of water on top of a bridge, a field of open land, or teammates sharing jokes, opinions, and memories. Certainly more than what meets the eye.
This 14-hour bus ride is reminiscent of both the college softball season and life’s journey: Long, arduous at times, with each place we pass serving as a mere mark on the map getting us closer to our eventual destination. Even though I know we will get to the end of our ride eventually, the feeling of coasting is tricking my mind into thinking that it will go on forever like this.
But, it won’t. This bus ride, and our season, will end sooner than we think. I don’t want to experience the same feeling of regret at the end of this season, or my time at Fordham, that I am feeling right now on this bus ride. A feeling that I’ve let something pass me by without making the most of the experience, the people around me, and the opportunities to do, see, and endure potentially great things.
Elise, our senior shortstop and one of my best friends, sent me a video this week that Alabama Softball used as motivation during Super Regionals three years ago.
The entire video inspired me to want to make the most of my opportunity as a college softball player to do special things on and off the field, and salvage the rest of what has been a roller coaster ride of a season, so far. One quote particularly resonated with me: “The game is going to go on, and there is only one rule you’re going to need to know about: there are no second chances. There’s only this moment and the next moment.”
This moment and the next. This game and the next. This pitch and the next. This interaction and the next. The ability to seize each moment, and not only make my college softball journey, but also the journey of my life better for myself and the people I am experiencing it with, is something I desire more than anything. Because, just like the game of softball will go on long after I graduate and stop playing, life will also go on whether or not I remember to look out the window and value the people in my life during these precious Fordham years.
This bus ride metaphor has reminded me to look out the window more often to take in the fleeting sights along the way, to focus less on myself and more on the people who are with me throughout the journey (both on the bus and at home), and not to take any moment of this experience for granted, even the seemingly insignificant places and stops along the way.
I continue to learn more each week about life through softball, as well as from the great people and places that Fordham has allowed me to know and experience. Going forward, it is my goal to try my best to seize the moments for success and victory on the diamond, as well as the moments to enjoy the view from the window and the people I am blessed to have in my life both on and off the field.