What Inspires me in Life by Stefanie G.

What Inspires me in Life by Stefanie G.

Inspiration. Some people find it laying on a beach listening to the waves crash against the sand and the birds chirp in the sky, while others may find it going on a run through a loud city, and music blasting in their ears. It can come from a place, or activity of comfort and dreams. I define inspiration as a feeling or motivation to achieve something you may not have thought was possible. For me inspiration comes from something more than a place, but a sport. I have played the game of softball for almost my entire life and nothing gives me more inspiration and heart to follow my dreams. From the beginning softball has been my place of comfort and a part of my life that allows me to think clearly, to learn and chase dreams. This sport has given more to me than I ever imagined, and I will forever be in its debt. Inspiration for me in softball comes through failure, my teammates, and volunteering.

From the first time I picked up a softball I didn’t realize the journey this sport would take me on. Through the good times and the bad, softball was always there to pick me up or challenge me. I have a love and passion for this game that most people couldn’t even come close to understanding. Anyone who has any recognition of the game knows that this sport is unlike any other. It’s a game of failure, and if you’re not prepared it will kick your confidence to the curb. From a young age I learned that I couldn’t be perfect in a game like this one. I learned that if I went one for three at the plate I had a pretty good day. If I gave up less than three runs a game, that was a great day on the mound. Failure has given me more inspiration than most things. It pushes me to keep going and know that without failure, you can’t get better. With failure comes greatness, if you give it time. When I was a junior in high school, I failed to make the varsity team at my high school. I was embarrassed and crushed when I saw all my friends playing at the highest level of high school ball and I was playing on JV. After I got over the initial disappointment of not making varsity, I used my passion and inspiration to achieve goals I never thought were possible. I worked on every aspect of the game I played to prove that I was capable of playing at the varsity level. Seven days a week, hours at a time I put in, not knowing what would come of it. After high school season ended, I started summer ball and pitched better than anyone thought I could. I threw 80 some innings without giving up a run and had my pick of colleges to play ball at. I never expected or dreamed of the achievements I accomplished through one failure. Although it was a failure that inspired me, I believe failures are one of the most impactful situations someone can have in life. It not only gave me inspiration, but love and heart for something that means so much to me.

Although personal failures are part of the game of softball, this game is also a team sport. We win together and lose together. Some of the girls I have played with and grown close to have been a huge inspiration to me and my goals in life and in the game. Teammates are like an immediate family you are given when you join a team sport. They are there through thick and thin and never seem to leave your side, not only on the field, but in life. My teammates have inspired me to challenge myself in softball and everyday challenges that come up. They have taught me to never settle and to continue pushing through adversity. When I see my teammate going after dreams of their own and achieving them, it inspires me and pushes me to go after mine and push myself because the sky is the limit in life. They are there to catch me if I fall, but also to there to make sure I am doing the best I can possibly do. As a pitcher, I’m always pressured to do my best, because the pitcher is one of the most important positions in the game of softball. Although the pitcher is the most important position, her catcher is equally important. A pitcher without a catcher is like an ocean without fish. She is my other half and does everything in her power to make me look good. She is never afraid to be brutally honest and let me know if I’m doing something wrong. She inspires me to try new things and not be afraid to change something that may be working to make it even better. She makes me tougher and a better person because of her positivity and challenge to make herself the best player on the field. She is not only a teammate, but my best friend and inspires me in more ways than one every day.

The third and final reason why the game of softball inspires me is volunteering. When you play a college sport you are encouraged to volunteer as a team activity. In the two years I have played college ball I have been able to give back in more ways than one. I have volunteered at soup kitchens, handed out clothes to the homeless, and made lunches for those who couldn’t afford food. One of the most memorable volunteer moments I have had was my freshman year of college. My teammates and I took a trip to a house that was being put together for a family in need. We were given paint brushes and paint and told to paint the entire inside and outside of the house. We didn’t know who we were painting the house for, but we knew who ever came and lived in it would greatly appreciate the effort we put in to make this house look nice. It was an experience my teammates and I could bond over and have fun doing. This event inspired me to volunteer even more because the feeling you get when you volunteer is unlike any other. Helping those in need is something that can be done with little effort and a lot of heart. This event has pushed me to volunteer at my local park district and coach young girls who only hope to play softball at a higher level one day and learn this fun and exciting game. College softball has taught me that I am fortunate to be able to play at the level I am because not everyone can. It inspires me to play hard and with 100% because of this reason.

Inspiration. It’s a word that can be defined in more ways than one, but in my book, it is a motivation or feeling that pushes you to be the best you can be and achieve more goals than you thought were possible. Softball has given me just that, inspiration. It has come from failure, teammates and volunteer work. I hope to be able to pass my learning experiences in this game down to future generations and give them inspiration to achieve more than they could have ever imagined.

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