An athlete’s life is different from most people;
There is a lot of pressure to preform from a young age. You may get a few injuries and your time is so carefully planned so that you can fit in school, homework, practice, friends and competition. Yet outside of these seemingly negative things, you can gain so much more than what you would expect. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you have spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your best. You develop a routine and learn how hard you can push your body. Some athletes get to see more of the world when they travel to games and for some, an extra opportunity in colligate levels!
Then one day, it’s all over.
It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you’ll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you’re no longer an athlete. you forget what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something bigger than yourself. It may hit harder in part because by playing you realized that competing was an escape and helped you become who you are.
You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you and see your family in the stands. It’s simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head.
So make as many memories as you can and enjoy every moment of play because when you leave sports behind, you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as you will miss the game, be thankful for everything it brought you. It teaches you how to be a good friend, respect others around you, and to push yourself to discover what you are capable of.
Enjoy it while it lasts and make the best of the skills you learned while you were an athlete!
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