Leading up to the International Softball Federation IX Jr. Women's World Championship (19-and-under), December 6-17, 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa, USA Softball Junior Women's National Team members Cheyenne Cordes, an outfielder from Fairfield, Calif., and Chelsea Goodacre, a catcher from Temecula, Calif., will be blogging biweekly for USASoftball.com.
September 8, 2011Goodacre: Closing a 'chapter of my life and opening a new one'
As I sit wondering what to blog about in Tucson, Ariz., my college home away from home, I can’t help but notice how beautiful it is here in Arizona. The Arizona mountains and skies are amazing. I came here in June to attend UA’s summer session. With school and training, I never took a moment to notice how beautiful the mornings and evenings are here, but the middle of the day is hot. “Sweltering hot” is a better description.
And during the middle of the day just happens to be the time of day when the team does our outdoor running drills. I can think of better ways to spend the middle of a 112 degree day in Tucson other than running sprints! But sitting at home, in the air conditioning, doesn’t build champions or win championships, so I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I am meeting my new teammates and learning the routines. I’m learning things we do and don’t do, things we do on our own and other things we do together. I am attending classes that have 900 students in them and I have to be sure to eat, workout, bat, throw and study (not in that order, of course). It has been an adventure so far and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next! I am loving every minute of it.
As I get to know my teammates and settle into my life as a college “student athlete”, I feel like I am closing one chapter of my life and opening a new one. My parents, friends and travel ball teammates have been so important to me and played such a big role in my life. Although I know they will always be there for me, going off to college is like turning a page and beginning to write a new chapter of my life. It’s difficult to leave my comfort zone, but I believe that by doing so, I will discover more about myself and grow more as a person than I could have ever imagined.
The decisions I make now are decisions that are a reflection of who I am. Being out in the world on my own, making decisions, each of which can affect other parts of my life is, a lot for a 17 year old to fully comprehend. Luckily, I have my teammates who have been wonderful and supportive; they have become my instant family. They have looked out for me, made sure I know what it is I’m supposed to be doing and when I should be doing it. They are there for me to practice with, hang out with or to just answer some of my questions about life at Arizona. I couldn’t imagine what college would be like without them.
I have always been blessed to have such great teammates, from my days in rec softball, when I was 8 years old to the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team and to now, at the University ofArizona. This sport has given me so many wonderful opportunities, experiences and friendships. I have had the opportunity to play softball in faraway places like Bogota, Colombia, and soon to be in Cape Town, South Africa. (I have Team USA to thank for that.) I have played in many different states across the U.S.
The friends I have made playing this sport are friends that I hope will always be a part of my life and me a part of theirs. They understand and share the drive I have to be the best I can possibly be and they share the love I have for this game. At some point along the way, this sport became a big part of who I am, not just what I do.
When I wasn’t in the classroom or on the field this summer, I had a chance to watch the Little League World Series playoff games on TV. The teams played great. But what really amazed me was the number of fans that showed up at Williamsport, Pa., in support of their local team, which happened to do very well. I heard in the three games they played, they had over 100,000 fans in attendance, not to mention the amount of fans, watching them on TV! That’s a lot of people, watching a bunch of kids play a game.
I would like to personally invite each and every one of those 100,000 or more fans to come out and watch an Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball fast pitch game sometime. Once they see one game, I know they’ll be back for more. It’s hard not to fall in love with this game.
Until next time,