By Karli Olsen — Spirit Lake High School
Thursday brought a small glimpse of joy.
While we can't practice together, members of the Spirit Lake softball team will be able to do virtual workouts that our coach sends us to prepare for our (hopeful) upcoming season. I’m holding on to the hope that I will get to put on a Spirit Lake jersey a few more times — and spend the summer with a great group of girls and coaches — doing something I love. For as long as I can remember, my summers have always been spent at the ball fields. From watching my older brother play, to being able to play myself, summers always meant stadiums, concession stand food, sunflower seeds, and baseball/softball. I knew that this summer would be my last playing ball, but I never expected it to be like this. I remain hopeful that we will get a season and for a chance to end my high school career like I had always planned — on the dirt. Regardless of what the future holds, I am able to reflect and am beyond grateful for the past four years as part of the Spirit Lake softball program.
After hearing my tennis coach talk on the radio today, I was hit with the disappointment of not having a senior tennis season. With the tennis team being made up of girls from both Spirit Lake and Okoboji, it was a great chance for me to meet new people. Last year, was my first year playing tennis and I ended the tennis season with new friends that I still talk to today. I am saddened to realize that I won’t get the opportunity to see them every day at practice.
While the loss of my tennis season is disappointing, I am walking away from this with a few takeaways. One, which seems to be quite a recurring theme for me during quarantine, don’t take anything for granted. Two, how I respond to this circumstance is totally in my control, even though the circumstance is out of my control.
I know going forward that, if I am blessed with the opportunity to play softball this summer, that it will be unlike any season before. Not only because of what is going on in the world, but because I have learned to cherish every early morning practice, long bus ride, pregame routine, and every second of priceless time with my teammates.