Although being a softball player can be rough at times, it is honestly one of the most rewarding experiences. After playing for so many years, you begin to learn things about yourself and the game that you had no idea would become such a major part of your life.

1. You can kiss your weekends good bye.

Honestly, who decided it was a good idea to have 3 games on an early Sunday morning? Whoever it was should be put in jail because it's one of the absolute worst experiences. I still have horrible flashbacks to leaving my house at 4 AM, while there was literal frost on the ground, for 3 long softball games. This also meant that my Saturdays basically had to end at like 8 PM the night before because being out with friends any later than that was not a possibility when you had to wake up so soon.

2. Stains. Everywhere.

No explanation is needed except that after countless amounts of diving and sliding on the field and in the dirt, between games and practices, all of your practice shirts are completely not acceptable to be worn where other normal people can see you.

3. Your bat was your child.

Going to pick up a new bat with my dad every year was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. I always wanted to grab the newest version of my favorite bat type and having a brand new, clean bat was always so satisfying. No stains, no marks, so clean.

4. Your game day hair was extremely important.

We all know too well that the moments before game time are prime game hair time. It becomes a braiding chain the dugout as everyone tried to make sure their hair was looking good for the games to come.

5. You grew to have one distinct hair style you wore for every single game.

Whether it was a french braid, regular ponytail, bun, etc. you tended to always gravitate to that hair style. You were never sure why, maybe it was because it was easy or maybe it was because you slightly believed it to be lucky, who knows.

6. Your teammates = your best friends.

My teammates are still to this day some of my very best friends. Softball brought us together and honestly, could not be more grateful for this sport for bringing them into my life. I can't imagine life without them now.

7. Sunflower seeds were life.

There were good and bad brands that everyone tended to stick with or away from but when it came down to it, sunflower seeds were sunflower seeds, and you knew you were going to eat them anyway.

8. New cleats were basically like early Christmas.

Fresh new gear was essentially everything.

9. Traveling to tournaments during the summer were your vacations.

While everyone of your friends went to Hawaii for vacation, you went to Colorado for softball every summer. Sometimes you really hated it and wish you could just have the summer off, but you knew that those experiences and fun times with your team you would cherish forever. You may not have been sitting on the beach but you were playing the sport you loved with your best friends.

10. Softball is/was your life and you wouldn't change a thing about that.

So much of my life has, and is still, centered around softball and there is not a thing I would change about it. The friends I have made, the lessons I have learned, and the places I have gone because of softball make all the time spent completely worth it.