A message to all current Valley athletes from a fellow Valley athlete

EDITOR’S NOTE: With nothing of note today newswise here at the Journal, we have invited Cedarcrest High School alum Kailyn Campbell to share a special message to all local athletes both at the high school and college levels dealing with the shut down of sport thanks to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Campbell, as some of you may know, was a three-sport athlete at Cedarcrest (basketball, softball, volleyball) before graduating and went on to a stellar career with Central Washington University’s softball program. She graduated from Central a few years ago and after a brief time playing professionally in Europe, the lower Valley product returned to Central this spring and was serving as an assistant coach with CWU’s softball program this season, a season like so many which was cut short as a result of the current situation. So with that, we invite you to read what Kailyn wrote here, and we thank her for doing this. She has posted a shorter version of this on her personal Instagram page.

Dear Current Athletes,

Cedarcrest High School graduate Kailyn Campbell, seen here while playing college softball for Central Washington University, has a message for local athletes currently dealing with the effects of no sports as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo taken by Joan Campbell)

If your 2020 season was shut down, this one’s for you. If you’re a young, high school, college, or international athlete, this one’s for you.

I hope everyone finds a new appreciation for the games they play. Whether it’s softball or not. Whether they really loved it before or not. Honestly, it doesn’t even have to be a sport.
I realize I may be one of the crazy ones, but I loved doing all the little things and going to practice every day no matter how hard they were. I’ve always had an incredible passion for softball. I love working on my game, but I know there are people out there that are okay with where they’re at, that don’t like to practice, or “don’t feel like it” some days. In a time where you are forbidden to practice as a team, not even allowed on the field, and restricted from being immersed in the sport, you will realize what it really means to you. Whatever that is, is different for everyone. And that’s okay. ⁣⁣

I wasn’t one of the players that got a year of their collegiate career cut short, but I sure know what it’s like when it just…ends. I was there. It happened to me too. One day you’re playing in the hype of a postseason tournament, and the next day your season is simply over and you’ll never play with that same team ever again. It’s abrupt. It seems unfair. It’s a tough concept to grasp. But it’s the way it has to go. You can’t control it and there’s nothing you can do about it. ⁣⁣

If you are an athlete that still has time left (let’s be real, you all do. Go overseas and thank me later; that’s a story for another day), but when you get back out there, think of those who hung it up. Those that lost the chance to win a championship. Those who won’t get any of it back. Those times when even you were shut down in the middle of your season. ⁣⁣
Keep this state of the world in the back of your mind when you’re out there; the time when you truly weren’t allowed to play the game. And when you “don’t feel like it”, check yourself. Otherwise you’ll look back with regrets and wish you’d given just a little bit more.

Don’t take anything for granted. Cherish the times you put your jersey on, lace up your cleats, put your helmet on, and step across those white lines. As tough as it is to hear, someday it will all end. Play your heart out. Play every season like it is the last one you’ll ever play. Don’t think that just because you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior that you can hold back. Give every ounce of effort you have and push yourself through the difficult times. When you’re wondering if it’s worth it, it is. I promise you that.

Find value in every moment, every opportunity, every experience, and every day that you are lucky enough to do something that fuels your fire. Because one day, it won’t be your life any more. Don’t stop until that day comes.

Nothing lasts forever. I knew that was true but it was hard to tell myself in college that “One day this won’t be your life anymore”. I didn’t know for sure if I would ever be playing the game again. I walked away from the two white lines, the dugout, the field, and the locker room for what could have been the very last time. My college career came to an end, and I found a way to continue my dreams of playing the game. For a lot of players, high school and college are the last steps. Time flies and days are going to pass no matter what. How are you going to make them count?

”One day this wont be your life anymore. So for today, run as fast as your feet will take you. Whether it’s a pop up to the pitcher or it bounces off the fence in left field. For today, swing as hard as you can. Commit to every pitch and give it everything you have. For today, make every play like it’s the last chance you’ll ever get. For today, play because you want to. Play because you need to. Play because the little girl you used to be fell in love with this game all those years ago…

For today, don’t stop until the last pitch is thrown. Play with every piece of your heart and leave it all on the field. One day, this won’t be your life anymore. When that day comes, make sure you wouldn’t change a thing.”


Kailyn Campbell

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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