Once upon a time, there was a little girl.
A little girl who loved softball.
This little girl loved the dirt, and hitting and running and sliding and throwing and practicing. She loved softball so much, that even before she could read and write, she wanted to play ball in college.
She threw the ball so hard when she was just 7, that other 7 year olds were afraid to catch her throws. And that some parents of those 7 year old were afraid for their daughters to play with her.
This little girl grew up playing the game she loved with wild and reckless abandon. Nothing and no one could stop her.
Her parents knew down deep in their hearts that she was born to be a star, that she had that extra something – competitiveness and drive and fury and WANT on the softball field, even from a very young age, that just CANNOT be coached into kids.
So they allowed their little girl to play and practice and pitch and hit and play ball to her little hearts content.
Her dreams became their dreams. Her desire so strong to be successful, that her parents decided to sacrifice anything necessary in order to watch her play. Some people thought they were crazy. But they didn’t worry about that.
Soon dreams of college fields filled this little girls head. And there was nothing, and no one that could stop her.
Always from the sidelines, her parents watched her play and pitch and hit and throw and slide. They picked her up on the bad days, and celebrated with her on the good days. They made sure she had the best coaches and the best training so that she could live a life aligned with HER DREAMS.
They always encouraged her to believe in her dreams and to write letters and reach out to all the colleges that she could ever dreaming of going to. They helped HER learn how to take control and make her dreams, a reality.
When she tore her ACL, what could have been a devastating injury, right before her sophomore year of High School, they didn’t allow this love story to end. No, instead they remained there pushing and prompting their little girl to never give up on her love of the game or herself.
And she did just that…coming back stronger, braver and more steadfast in character than ever. Because now she knew what it meant to suffer with the love of her life gone. And she knew that she would not, could not live without softball.
Then, they visited big schools and small schools. They even visited Alabama, her dad not so secretly hoping that she would play ball there. But deep down, he knew that it was not his choice.
See, these parents knew that softball, and college and the future belonged to their daughter, not to them.
And while they wanted to help her get there – they knew in good conscious they could not make these decisions for her. So they empowered her. They set her free. They allowed her to write the poem of her softball love story.
And, they traveled. Near and far. North and south. East and West. They visited towns and colleges and stood on college softball fields that many of us only dream of visiting. They showed her it was okay to dream far and wide, and they supported her every step of the way. They shook hands with coaches, and explored every opportunity possible, looking for that one special place where they knew their daughter would fit.
Mom and dad always in the background, allowing their daughters heart to take the lead.
Because this is really two love stories in one. One players love for the game, and another, the parents love for their daughter.
Then one day, seemingly just like that…it happened. This little girl stepped onto a softball field where she felt completely at home.
All the years of intense love for the game and for this sport – came down to this one moment of knowing.
However bittersweet it must have been, her parents, they saw the glimmer in her eyes. They saw the happiness. They saw the love, and they knew too that the wandering softball heart of this player had found a home.
The knew that this softball love story was not over, and that this little girl had enough love and determination in her heart to make this decision, and they loved her enough to allow her to do so. And so she did.
And now, this girls heart beat to the tune of the Belmont Bruins. This little girls softball love story will turn into that of a young woman, doing what she loves at the next level. And surely as there are stars in the sky…this girl will have her parents there with her in the stands, loving her all the way! Because like most things in life, softball too, is about love first, and no one does it alone!
So today, we say congratulations to Kristen Green on making her LOVE STORY come true!
MAY Each Of YOU Always Believe in the Beauty of Your Dream!