Thursday, March 12, 2015 – N.C. State / Raleigh, North Carolina
For anyone who has ever traveled by airplane, there’s almost nothing worse in the flying experience than getting delayed on the runway. Or so it initially seems.
With each revolution of the wheels as they approach the airstrip, it feels as though you’re inching closer and closer to your desired destination, only to be disappointed by what happens next: the wheels stop their revolutions, the captain’s voice echoes through the plane’s speakers, and the massive carrier comes to a halt. At a moment’s notice, things go from moving right along to being stuck at a standstill, and suddenly, you’re left alone with idle time. A buzzkill during your trip, for certain.
We experienced these traveling woes today at the start of our journey to Raleigh, North Carolina. Just as we were about to take off from LaGuardia Airport, some runway traffic caused our flight’s captain to announce a delay that would have us at a standstill for an indefinite amount of time. So, we and the rest of our packed Delta flight initially sat in frustrated anticipation of our impending take-off.
At first, it seemed like the worst thing that could happen; moments of stagnancy in a stuffy airplane, a delay in the schedule, a change to the itinerary. What could be worse for fast-moving, New York City-dwelling, student-athlete-millennials like us? Probably only dead cellphones and places without Wi-Fi access.
After the first impatient five minutes passed, however, the idle time was actually pretty nice. It not only allowed me to watch the sun descend upon the ground while other planes ascended into the sky, but also to have some unadulterated time alone with my thoughts, with just the soothing sounds of my iPod filling my ears.
I thought about who our team had been for the past 16 games, who we are today, and most important, who we would be in May. It was refreshing to have some quiet time to think during our travels, instead of constantly moving toward the next destination.
Some forty-five minutes later, we finally made it into the sky and resumed our trip to N.C. State. Once we got into the air, I realized that today’s delay on the runway was reminiscent of our lives over the past 12 days.
During the first four weeks of the season, it felt as though we could barely come up for air. It seemed like we would return to Fordham from softball-filled weekends and merely blink our eyes and it would be Thursday, our travel day, yet again. A crazy life even for those of us who are used to the crazy life that comes with the college softball season.
But, for the past 12 days since our big win against Minnesota in Orlando, our crazy lives were toned down a bit. A weekend without games and some days off granted by our coaches afforded us the chance to rest our bodies and minds, and refuel for our tough weekend ahead at N.C. State.
Similar to my experience on the runway today, some time off amid our on-the-go routine gave us a chance to just “be,” instead of living to constantly “do.”
And like our situation on the runway today, the static time off was frustrating at first, seemingly unnecessary even. It appeared to simply be a break in the momentum that had us rolling right along toward our destination. Why stop the plane’s wheels from revolving once they started moving toward the runway?
But, after 12 days of limited softball-related stress, numerous chances to break down swing mechanics, and a ton of time to reflect and think, I realized that our hiatus was much needed, and may even prove to be a great thing for us going forward.
So, while a delay on a runway or during the college softball season doesn’t usually appear to be ideal initially, I realized today that it could be just what we needed to slow things down and revitalize us for the next leg of the journey.
And plus, as long as the desired destination is eventually reached, the frustrations created by the delay are almost always forgotten and the journey is remembered as an overall success.