2015 Fordham Softball – Week 15 / A Beautiful Day at Bahoshy

Monday, April 27, 2015 – George Washington University / Bronx, New York

My dad and I embrace during Saturday's senior day ceremony in the Bronx. (Courtesy of Tom Wasiczko)

My dad and I embrace during Saturday’s senior day ceremony in the Bronx. (Courtesy of Tom Wasiczko)

I don’t think it’ll truly feel real until it’s actually over. Until the very last out is recorded, wherever and whenever that may be, and I walk off the field for the final time. But, on Saturday, the end felt as real and impending as it ever has. 

Last year, after this very weekend, I wrote about the bittersweet nature of senior day and lamented about the loss of my friends and teammates to graduation. I mentioned the array of emotions I felt while watching Elise, Tina, Gabby, and Bri make the trek across Bahoshy Field with their parents on senior day, as I cried for the end of their softball careers and the approaching end of my own. I imagined my senior day as being an emotional roller coaster ride, resulting in tears and sadness, with more “bitter” than “sweet” feelings, as I attempted to hold on for dear life to the game that has been my constant for 16 years. 

On Saturday, however, senior day was nothing like what I had imagined it would be. Sure, a few tears were shed from my eyes while I held onto my dad’s arm and watched my friends and their parents get honored before us. But, I wasn’t a ball of emotions like I had been a year before and had expected to be when my name was finally called. Rather, I felt poised and at peace, as a genuine sense of happiness filled me on this day of celebration.

And what a beautiful day of celebration it was, as quality time was spent with friends, teammates, and our extended Fordham Softball family. The added bonus of the day was the dominance we Rams displayed on the field, as we walked away from senior day two wins richer, both by way of the 5-inning mercy-rule against George Washington University. 

The greatest source of my happiness on Saturday, however, was in sharing the entire experience with my dad, who has made every great thing in my life possible and has been by my side through each step of my 16-year softball and 22-year life journey. Together, we’ve defied the odds and made it through some incredible obstacles to get to Saturday’s celebration. Being able to share in that victory alone superseded anything great that happened on the field that day. 

While I felt happy, honored, and truly proud to be a Ram on Saturday, what I didn’t feel was sadness about the inevitable and approaching end of my softball career like I thought I would. Though part of me wishes I could don the maroon and white forever, another part of me knows that all good things must eventually come to an end. And when that day arrives in the upcoming weeks, the time will be right. Until then, I plan on making all of my remaining days in a Fordham uniform beautiful ones.

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Perceiving People and “Such is Life” Moments in a Different Light

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.

Michele, Tina, and me during team bonding at Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach.

Michele, Tina, and me during team bonding at Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach.

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.