For many people, their athletic careers came to an end way back in high school or even before. On the contrary, I was lucky enough to continue to play the sport that had already dominated my life and stole my heart since I was seven years old with one of my best friends, my sister. Now I find myself heading into my final season of four years at the greatest university in the world, and I can say with a strong heart that, believe it or not, I am ready.
I am now twenty-two, and I can still remember that little seven year old who wore those hideous half visor half hat things. As she got older, I remember her running around in one knee pad that was far too long for her and one that was shorter because that let everyone know she was fast. I still wear my short knee pads under my pants because I like to believe I still am fast. I remember her being a small, power righty playing short stop, and then transforming into a speedy little lefty who patrolled the outfield. I’ve stuck with the outfield since then and couldn’t love the position and my fellow outfielders more #betterhalf. I also remember insisting on wearing white cleats because Caitlin Lowe wore them, and she was the fastest and one of the best to ever play the game. I remember wanting to be just like her.
I know that my career will never be able to live up to Caitlin Lowe’s, but I’m proud of it, I’m at peace, and I’m ready.
I’m ready to play my last season with my biological sister, my outfield sisters, my seniors sisters, and my teammate sisters. They are the ones who made and continue to make every day entertaining and worthwhile that I spend with them whether it be on the field or off.
I’m ready to play my last season for a coaching staff who waited for me and still welcomed me with open arms to play for the university I belonged at even though I had originally fought against it. They have helped to shape me into the young woman and leader I’ve become.
I’m ready to play my last season with Notre Dame proudly written across my jersey, 21 on my back, and the ever famous clover on my pants. This university has given so much to me, and I vow to always represent her name in the utmost manner.
I’m ready to play my last season in front of my parents who have been an unbelievable support system on this sixteen year journey. I cannot thank them enough for always believing in me and encouraging me to better my best. They have taught me the morals and values I strive to live with, but also play with and will play with till I cross that chalk line for the last time.
I’m ready to enjoy this last season. To enjoy the last bus rides, the last chaotic plane trips, the last push-ups in the dugout, the last spotlights after wins, the last tap on the Play Like A Champion Today sign, the last team dinners, the last crazy comebacks, the last Strike Out Cancer event, the last weird superstitions, and the last alma mater.
I’m ready because I love this game. I have given everything to it, and I’ve been taught that if you do that and respect it along the way, it will repay you in some amazing ways. Therefore, I am at peace going into this final season, and I’m more than ready.
Let’s get this darn show on the road.
Love always & forever Irish,
K Wester 21