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And so it ends

author: destiny kaus | production manager

Her bags are packed and she’s out of here/Ella Mikkola

Career concludes for another Cougar

Well, friends, a very large chapter in my life has come to a close. This past Thanksgiving weekend, I played my last softball game as a Cougar athlete. This game was also my last game as a university athlete, since I have now reached the end of my eligibility. To be quite honest, I’ve basically cried and eaten my feelings every day since this game because it’s just so hard to believe that I am no longer a university softball player. My career as a junior college softball player in North Dakota and as a university softball player here in Regina just went by so frickin’ fast, gosh dang it!

Throughout my years of crushing balls and dreams on the field, I’ve faced a lot of ups and a lot of downs. Having the opportunity to take home some individual all-star awards, a league gold in 2015, a league silver this season, and two bronze medals at Nationals – although it literally almost kills me that we didn’t win gold…but whatevs right? Can’t win ‘em all – were pretty sick times. I will also never forget some of the super rare times I’ve had with my team over the years, including, but not limited to, pooping in each other’s hotel bathrooms, taking the extra toiletries and toilet paper from hotels ‘cause we’re all broke as heck, watching Say Yes to the Dress or the Food Network in our hotel downtime, getting together for movie nights, and stopping at KFC on road trips.

Ah, but of course, a sportsing career is not all good times, fluffy kittens, and rainbows, right? Right. Throughout my time as a kick-butt softball playa, I’ve faced some pretty devastating losses, some horrible calls from umpires that make me want to punch them in the face or start a bench brawl, plenty of injuries, including mucho concussions, and struggles in my personal life off the field.

But, one thing I’m realizing now that I’m done is that in all these ups and downs, one thing remains the same: the relationships I’ve built with my teammates, especially my teammates this year (for real, bless all of your lovely hearts). I have made some pretty dope lifelong friends: friends I never would have made had I not been a university softball player.

My teammates have taught me that in ball and in life when you screw up, you get back up and you keep moving forward. From my years as a Cougar athlete especially, I have gained an incredible support group of friends who love me no matter what I go through and who have my back no matter what. So, to all these beautiful humans – you know who you are – I say a huge thank you along with a big hug, some love, and some chucked deuces.

In my farewell, I’d also like to give some shout outs to my coaches who pushed me to succeed on the field and helped me out when I struggled in my personal life, my physiotherapist who helped me through a ton of injuries and listened to my life struggles as I vented to her on the physio table, the U of R for its support, and my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who gave me the talents and opportunities to play the sport I love and who gave me an identity that never changes and that goes far deeper than softball.

Now, excuse me as I go cry in a corner and mourn the loss of this part of my life. But, rejoice with me as I celebrate moving into a new chapter of life, whatever that may be, and join me as I work towards receiving the hope and the joy and the grace that I know I have in Jesus for giving me my identity and for showing me over the past few years that there is so much more to life than softball.

 

About Destiny Kaus

Former carillon production manager/arts editor/arts writer.