A softball trip that teaches more than the game

From the amber waves of wheat to the purple Rocky Mountains, softball not only brings families together, it also brings girls from all over the world together. 

Drive times range from nine hours to 16 just to meet in Colorado for one of the biggest tournaments in the nation. Young female athletes from as far as Hawaii come to play in the Colorado Sparkler from June 25 to July 2 to play in front of 150 college coaches ranging from NCAA Division I to community colleges. 

Not only is this a week-long excursion, it is also a life-changing experience. 

This trip was not only about playing softball, but about looking at life in a different way and learning how to deal with adversity. 

For example, I saw different types people walking down the street in downtown Denver and how they are living or struggling to live. 

Seeing something like this and seeing how many people are struggling in their own way makes a person open their eyes and see what they are really blessed with in life. 

Playing on fields at Columbine High school in Littleton, Colorado, and fields in Aurora, Colorado, really make you realize how fortunate you are to be able to play sports, be with our family and be able to do what you love with the people you love because it could be gone any second.

While walking through downtown Denver this was also noted due to the enormous amounts of homeless veterans and disabled homeless people. 

The purpose of the trip was to go play softball and to get seen and possibly recruited by college coaches, yet something much greater was earned. 

Knowledge of what is going on in the world other than just in your hometown and being able to see what other people deal with and how they survive makes a person think about what really matters in life. 

This trip not only gave insight, it also showed that a person should never be judged just by the way they look or how they live. 

Traveling to Denver taught us to always work hard to achieve our dreams. You can do anything if you set your mind to it and overcome adversity.