I look back at those times out on the sand or grass and I remember the solid 13 years of play time I had. I remember running sprints, I remember doing push-ups, sit-ups, and planks. I remember sweating so much that I thought my entire face was going to melt off and I remember freezing my butt off and not being able to feel my toes after playing in a blizzard. I remember the coaches and I remember the faces along the benches as we cheered each other on. I remember thinking, "How could people not be playing sports?" Because that was the only life I had ever known. I still think about how I used to think that and sometimes it really hurts to think I may never be able to play on those fields ever again.

Looking back, there was so much more to the long soccer and softball practices in the rain and/or sleet. There was so much more to the times where I was so frustrated with my team that I could barely think straight. I realized that everything about these fields have shaped the person I am today. Because of these fields, I am on-time, if not early to everything. I work hard for myself and my "team" whether it is in school or at my job. Because of these fields, I am able to be teachable. Because of these fields, I learned so much about respecting not only yourself, but your teammates. I learned how to forgive myself and forgive others. Those fields taught me friendship because usually your teammates were also some of your best friends. Those fields taught me that there is so much more to life than winning because even if you come in dead last, you can still have a great time along the way.

Through the practices, tournaments, scrimmages, home games and away games, I realized something incredibly valuable. Again, these fields were way more than just running around and playing sports because they taught actual life skills. And those life skills will continue to remain important throughout your entire life. They are a kind of life lesson that can never be changed and they can never be replaced. If I could go back, I would easily tell myself to enjoy EVERY second I spent on those fields (even if it was doing 60 sprints because we lost a game horrendously.) Being on those fields felt like home and that is something you should never take for granted.

Although this part of my life may be over, cherishing those life lessons and those important memories with coaches, teammates, and myself is all I can do. So, thank you to those fields that made me. I will always miss you.