I’ve kind of been living two separate lives this month. It began by getting ready for the playoffs. We had our Final Four tournament and we fell in the first game so we ended up taking 4th place in the ASL this year. Regardless of the outcome, it was a fun season and I’m so glad I got to lace up my spikes for another season. Game day to me is like Christmas morning. Even though we lost, we watched the rest of the tournament. After the championship, we had the awards ceremony. We were given our 4th place trophy and the gold gloves we earned. Our team won 4 of 9. I got one for third base, Eidy got one for pitcher, Vicky got one for first base, and Paula got one for centerfield. Fact of the day: the Chicklets have won 8 gold gloves for the 9 positions in the last two years.
I had an entire free week plus a couple days before I took off back to the states. Some of my teammates and I watched all of the baseball playoff games. One tripleheader and two doubleheaders. Other than watching lots of baseball, we went bowling, played pool and the craziest game of air hockey I’ve ever seen, went on a little hike, and went to a little amusement park. It was a Family Park for kids. But, there we were, four 20something year olds having a blast on the little kid rides. We rode the little rollercoaster a couple extra times just to pose for the picture. So much fun.
I found myself outside one day at the clubhouse on the flat just reflecting on my time there. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and a few clouds here and there. It was also the day after a wild night of baseball games. I wish I could have captured the moment and kept it forever. It was nearly silent. Just me and the fields. I was in Europe, in Austria, at the best facility in the country, and just finished a season. My gratitude in that moment was through the roof. I enjoyed everything the entire time, but that last week was taken to another level. I think a lot and I think a lot about how grateful and blessed I am.
Eidy and I left on the same day. We both finished packing the day before. Again, the gratitude kicked in again. It was just the two of us getting our things together with music playing. One of the most bittersweet feelings I’ve ever had. I could feel the chapter closing that day. We were both very excited to go home, but also very sad to leave. The weirdest and hardest part is walking away and not knowing when or if you’ll see someone again. Our lives changed when we got there and we adapted to our new life. We got used to it. Living in Austria was the norm for 5-6 months. Now, we’ve gone back to what we knew for so long before with the experience of a lifetime locked in our memories forever. To the Chicklets and everyone involved, thank you. Thank you for everything. I hope to see you all again soon.
“There’s a part of me that thinks perhaps we go on existing in a place even after we’ve left it” – Colum McCann