Living Out My Dream
Everyone asks me what it's like to play for Team USA, and now that I've made the Olympic roster everyone asks what that's like and my answer is always the same--it is literally a dream come true. As in I literally started dreaming of playing for Team USA in the Olympics when I was 10 years old.
But a few years after I started dreaming of wearing the red, white, and blue, softball was removed from the Olympics after 2008. I was crushed.
I soon switched my goals to college. Not only did I want to play softball in college, but I wanted to go to and win the Women's College World Series. So through recruiting I had that on my mind and I'm so grateful that God led my heart to the University of Florida. Because of that decision I became exactly who I was always meant to become. I experienced home sickness, loss of identity and constant adversity in the game. But I also experienced incredible team success that led to two national championships and undeniable personal growth. Did I mention I was grateful??
I still wanted to play for Team USA even though they weren't in the olympics, because duh, it's Team USA! But I hadn't gotten the invite to tryouts...until my senior year at Florida. I didn't get the initial invite, a few other catchers actually declined before I got mine. But I got my opportunity and I told myself it didn't matter how I got it. So I went to tryouts with nothing to lose and made the team in 2016. My dream was coming true, but we still weren't in the Olympics. The vote would be happening that summer and there was hope on the horizon.
You see, we're in for 2020, but we're not in for 2024. We weren't in for half of the time that I've played this game (21 years). I can't believe that I am a part of this program during this window. I can't believe that I am here. Don't get me wrong I put in the work, but there are a lot of people that work hard. When I think about being a part of this team during this unique window of time I feel an even bigger sense of honor and responsibility to protect the dreams of the next generation. They deserve the same dream I had because it's a really great dream.
So for my first blog I wanted to introduce just a snippet of my journey to this point. Trust me there will be more in depth pieces, I can't help it because I feel like God gave me a unique story -- a story that I love even though there were times that I felt lost. If I could leave you with anything, it would be that to embrace the lost moments because those moments make the moments of complete fulfillment and purpose so much richer.