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Apr 23
2012

Home (Run) Away From Home

Posted by CAM Blogger in Untagged 

SoftballFor four years, I have been an infielder on the Big Red varsity softball team, playing doubleheaders several times a week during spring semester. Thanks to the lovely Ithaca weather, we travel for most of them—from Virginia to Arizona and all over the Ivy League.

After a while, life on the road becomes pretty routine. Twenty-three girls. Eight bags of equipment. One bus. Friday afternoon we assemble in front of Bartels Hall to board the trusty coach we’ll call home for the next two days. We depart campus energized, with one goal: winning.

Escaping from our busy lives as Ivy League students, the hours are quickly simplified. We no longer have the dual role of student-athlete, but can focus on softball. And I mean only softball; our coaches tell us when to show up, what to eat (more important, what not to eat), and where to sleep. There’s not a lot of decision-making involved, which is a pleasant vacation from the stress of classes, exams, and professors. For two days we trade the competitive academic atmosphere in Ithaca for the thrill of physical competition.

Sleep moves to the top of the priority list—it’s pretty important for good hand-eye coordination—and there’s never a shortage of food, thanks to the coolers stocked with fruit, bagels, and peanut butter. What’s better than a weekend of free food and softball games? Nothing, really.

I wouldn’t trade life on the road for anything. It brings me closer to my teammates as we bond over which hotel beds we like best and what movies to watch on the bus. But still, on Sunday night—after four games, twenty-eight innings, and countless hours trying to configure my sore body into a comfortable sleeping position—nothing seems better than the sight of campus and the thought of a few restful days in academia. At least until next weekend.

— Erin Keene ’12