I was an athlete in high school, that’s what I was known for. Hockey in the winter and softball in the spring, I loved it. I couldn't imagine quitting, ever. Honestly, I let them distract me from school and having a social life. I overworked myself because I thought sports had to be my entire life. And they were, I even got recruited to play softball in college. When I got to college I realized that I didn’t want to be an athlete anymore. I saw myself falling into the same routines from high school, and didn’t want to relive that. I was faced with a dilemma; do I quit and have to explain it to my friends and family, or stay miserable and stick it out to keep from disappointing people.

I quit.

The weird thing was, I was happy about it. Suddenly I found myself with free time that I could do anything with, but I wanted to stay active. So I ended up playing a few games with the Men’s club hockey team. Another crazy thing happened: I was having fun playing a sport. There were no expectations and no pressure on me. Hockey was great, but I still felt adventurous and wanted to expand my horizons. Someone told me that I shouldn't join a sorority because it wasn't my type of scene, so I decided to join a sorority. I broke free from just being an athlete and found that there are people who I like outside of sports.

Of course, summer came and my old team told me they needed me for a tournament, and I nervously told them I would play. Once again, I found myself having fun playing softball, which I hadn't truly enjoyed since I was 13. Suddenly, I didn't feel like my future was ruined if I struck out and I could joke around with my coaches without hating them.

I was always afraid that me quitting would somehow change me as a person, that people would look at me differently. My friends and family still see the same girl they always did, now they know that I'm happier and have matured. I joke that I retired from softball, but in a way, I retired from the competitive side to sports. I still will play for the love of sports.