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The LEAP Student Blog

You Don't Know What You Have Until It's Gone

Kjirstin Hopfer
Ocosta High School, Class of 2021

As I drive two hours to pick up my sister who just flew across the world from France, I feel a change in energy throughout the whole entire state. Every sign on the freeway states, “stay home and be safe”. Parking lots are empty. Schools are closed. People are wearing masks walk frantically around the streets.  I can feel panic and uncertainty in the air.

At the beginning of this pandemic, I admittedly laughed about it thinking everything would be okay and life would be normal. But now, every single day for the last month has been nothing but drastic changes in my everyday routine and ways to adapt to it. The feeling of going to bed knowing that another aspect of your life might be cancelled the next day has turned into a norm.

I am a junior at Ocosta High School where I play baseball on the boys team. Some may say that I have one more year left so it’s no big deal, but this year for my baseball team was definitely a year we would have made history. Every year of high school players come and go and in result, team dynamics differ each year but this year, the chemistry on the team was something special. Although it is not officially cancelled, the year we dreamed of having will never be the same.

Not only do I play baseball, I also play competitive fastpitch for the Washington Ladyhawks in hopes to reach my end goal of playing division 1 softball. For the past few months we have had practices every weekend where I drive almost three hours by myself to get there. I took it all for granted. I found myself starting to get sick of the long drive and tired of being away from home every weekend, but now I miss it all. I especially miss my best friends who live throughout all of the PNW where practice is the only place we see some of each other. This summer was also one of the most crucial seasons for my recruiting process and I am hoping and praying that we will still be able to play this summer- but the chances look more unlikely every day. 

One of the things that is keeping me positive is knowing that all athletes at all levels are experiencing the same heartbreak of not being able to play. This is not something that is affecting just our country’s athletes but the entire world of athletics. Although it may be easy to only see the negative effects of this pandemic on sports, there actually might be some positive results that come out of it. I found myself getting lost in the routine of things at times but now I am truly understanding that you do not know what you have until it's gone (and I know a majority of athletes are feeling this way as well).

This being said, when all of this is over, I truly believe that practices will be filled with more energy and intention. Teams will be brought together with a tighter bond. Every single game will be played as if it was a championship on the line. Athletes will no longer go through the motions as now they have an understanding that you never know when it could be your last game and/or practice. The love for the game will come back stronger than ever and that is the main reason why I have hope through all of this.


From: K Kjack 4/4/2020 8:53 am

So well said for all aspects of life. Great job Kj

From: Mike Allton 4/5/2020 9:42 am

Thanks for sharing Kjirstin!

April 2020

4/26/2020 Remember What's Important
4/17/2020 Renewed Appreciation
4/13/2020 Stay Strong, Stay Determined
4/9/2020 We're In This Together
4/7/2020 High School Roller Coaster
4/5/2020 On Hold
4/4/2020 You Don't Know What You Have Until It's Gone
4/2/2020 Heartbroken

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