Hang Up the Cleats and Pick Up the Running Shoes

If my 12-year-old self found out that I run almost every day for fun, she would laugh hysterically. That Julie HATED running. Not just disliked, this was a burning hatred that came from deep inside her.

Running was often used as a punishment in sports so any psychologist would tell you that I was conditioned to hate conditioning with every fiber in my being. Fast forward to 2020, I was a senior preparing for my last season of Softball. That hatred for running had not changed at all, in fact in may have worsened due to the PTSD of the whistle followed by “on the line” if we were making mistakes during practice.

The infamous Covid-19 took away many lasts including my last softball game. As I sat in my house and waited for some sort of guidance about whether or not we would have a season, I had to stay in shape. Against everything I believed in, I decided that a little jog wouldn’t be so bad.

Days became weeks and weeks became months. Random jogs turned into daily morning runs. It got to the point that I was running almost 2 miles daily. This may not seem like a lot to some, but to the girl who only associated running with punishment, this was huge.

As I embark on my second year of committing to running, I often find myself missing softball more than I talk about. I think because it just ended out of nowhere, I have no recollection for how much I miss it, but there will be times on campus when I’m on a run and pass the softball field and the team is practicing…those days are hard. I used to be one of those girls and now I am simply a woman on a run.

I have to believe that everything happens for good and while losing my last season of softball was incredibly difficult; I gained a love for a sport that I hated. In a way, I am grateful for the way that I lost my season because I was able to fall in love with another sport.

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