She couldn’t heal where she got sick.
Selfish? Depends on one’s perspective.
She transferred after playing softball for two years at Missouri. She transferred after two years of confusion, loneliness, and sleepless nights. She transferred after two years of friendships, laughs, and inside jokes. She transferred after two years of not knowing her worth. She transferred after two years of living some of the greatest (and hardest) moments of her life.
Deciding whether to transfer or not can become a bit contradictory. From one perspective, transferring can appear selfish because the athlete committed her four years to that particular team, coach, and university. Transferring can appear selfish because the athlete is leaving behind the friendships she has created, the heart and soul she has put onto that field, and the bond she has formed with the people who cheer her on.
From the other perspective, though, and the thing that most people forget is she is a human being… A human being with feelings… A human being fighting inner battles tougher than one could understand… A human being who happens to represent so much more than just herself.
She loved that university. She loved the people who came with that university. But the truth? She was sick, and she was desperate. She craved a life where she could thrive. She dreamed of a world where she could wake up in the morning and reach her greatest potential. She dreamed of the most genuine smile on her face.
One day, she decided to manifest her greatest dream. She packed up her apartment, and she moved halfway across the country. She started her life over in Oklahoma. She didn’t know anyone, and she didn’t know who cared about her in this new, mysterious place. All she knew is that she had a coach with the biggest, whitest smile and a warm, homelike presence, and she trusted her.
This coach took her time and listened to the athlete. This coach learned (and cared) about her past. This coach transferred her big, white smile to the athlete’s face, and the athlete’s greatest dream came true: she finally knew what it was like to smile from the inside out.
That smile disregarded all of the past darkness inside of her. That smile can be seen in hundreds of pictures from the Women’s College World Series. That smile will live on in history at the bottom of a dogpile.
That girl? She is a National Champion. She was the #1 draft pick in the NPF. She is Paige Lowary. She is a transfer. And she has reached her dreams.