An Open Letter To My Former Teammates

Dear [teammate],

I’m sorry I haven’t spoken to you in a while. It’s been some years now since we were on the field together but in my mind, it wasn’t that long ago. It feels like just yesterday we were playing catch, hitting bp, dancing in the locker room, and hanging out on weekends. You were with me during one of the most important times in my life, and helped make me the woman I am today. For that I am forever grateful.

You meant a lot to me during our time together –– please know that you still do. Even though I don’t call, even though I don’t write, and even though I don’t get to see you –– you are still my family and I love you dearly.

If I’m being honest, leaving athletics has been hard for me. I never knew myself as anything other than an athlete so when it was gone, I didn’t know who I was. Maybe it was me coping, or maybe it was me thinking that was just how life played out –– but I started separating myself from you and my life as an athlete. Losing that part of my life was too hard for me to come to terms with. It wasn’t fair for me to handle it this way –– to me, the sport, or you –– and for that I am truly sorry.

As I started to unpack my transition out of being an athlete, I was flooded with countless memories –– mornings in the weight room (doesn’t count!), pre-game dance parties, really tough practices, our funny quirks/superstitions, life in the airport, and singing the alma mater after wins. When I distanced myself from my life as an athlete, I left all of these behind too. And now that I’ve opened the door, these good memories –– of our team, our friendship and my true self –– are shining the brightest.

It’s going to take time, but I wanted to let you know that I am still here for you. I’m still here as your teammate, your friend and your sister. I always have been, and I always will be. I fell behind a little bit but I’m catching up, and I’ll be picking up everyone I can along the way.

Love you guys.

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