Friday, March 21, 2014 – George Washington University / Washington, D.C.
After a week in which we experienced rainouts, cancellations, 35 degree outdoor practices, an inordinate amount of downtime, a broken down bus, a nine-hour wait for a new bus to bring us from South Carolina to Virginia, and a 3am arrival in Virginia on gameday, I think all of us can agree that spring break did not go quite as planned. Our trip did not start out this way, however, as there seemed to be such promise and upward potential after our first 24-hours in South Carolina.
We went 2-0 on Saturday after convincing victories over Troy and Georgia State. We were riding high on adrenaline after our games, so we took to the beach and boardwalk to enjoy the beautiful Myrtle Beach weather for some spring break fun. Little did we know when we woke up on Sunday morning that the normalcy of the trip would end there. For the rest of the week, just when we thought our plans were secure and things were looking up, something seemed to go awry and derail them in some way.
Our unusual week made me think of the saying, “such is life,” in regards to the unpredictable events of our spring break. Samuel Johnson wrote in the 18th century, “Such is life, that whatever is proposed, it is much easier to find reasons for rejecting than embracing.” I’m not going to lie and say that I was able to embrace the derailments of spring break over the past week. As with everything this season, however, I’m trying to look at the benefits of the experience, and how it will help my teammates and me in the long run.
Because of our constantly changing plans, we were forced to spend significantly more time together in a non-softball setting than we ever normally would have. We had the opportunity to shop together, eat together (way more than usual), experience Medieval Times together, color each other’s hair, and just be normal girls together. In retrospect, it was actually pretty nice to be able to hang out with some of my closest friends, as well as some of the girls who I don’t usually spend time with off the field, and see these people in a different light.
On Monday night, I watched Dead Poet’s Society for the first time in my hotel room. Robin Williams’ ability to find beauty and inspiration in poetry, as well as his “carpe diem” approach to life, was nothing short of moving to me. This classic movie is filled with myriad memorable quotes, but one line applied particularly well to our spring break experiences: “We must constantly look at things in a different way. It is important to have perspective in life. Without it, we would all see things in one way.”
This quote not only applies to the “such is life” moments we endured in Myrtle Beach, but also to the preconceived notions we have about the people we don’t usually take the time to know off the field. I know I was better able to identify with some of my most unfamiliar teammates during this trip, as a result of us spending so much time together, and thus, being able to see them just as they are. It’s amazing how a group of people can travel thousands of miles together, eat together, live together, and play together, but not really understand each other until they are forced to see one another in a different light. Maybe the greater purpose for the derailments was to force us to gain this new perspective, no matter how difficult it was to understand in the moment.
I hope our spring break experiences will make us closer going forward. It could be a premature assumption, but I think this new-found understanding of one another is coming at the right time. The real season starts tomorrow, as we open up conference play at George Washington University. It will be a great opportunity for us to gauge how we stack up against one of the conference’s best teams, as well as a chance to make a statement to the rest of the teams in the A10. As of right now, everyone in the Atlantic 10 is undefeated, despite the ups and downs we have all experienced so far this season.
Tomorrow marks a clean slate; A chance to turn the page, and enter into a promising, new phase of the season. A chance to use the “such is life” moments we have endured over the last 28 games to our advantage to fuel the quest to defend our Atlantic 10 title.