Defining moments. We all have them. They come at different times in our lives and help us determine who we will be. Defining moments in sports aren’t any different.

When I was between the ages of 5 and 8, I had my first defining moment. I was really young then, and looking back at that time now, I have realized how it changed my life.

The first defining moment I had came at about 7 years old. I have two older brothers and we all played every sport in the book until we were in junior high. My parents wanted us to have options. Because I was the only girl, I played sports and was put into dance and gymnastic classes.

I had lessons every week. I had to beg my mom to stop taking me to dance lessons. I didn’t enjoy it and all I did was whine about going. Finally my mom pulled me out of dance and gymnastics to stop the constant complaining. This was the defining moment. Apparently (because I didn’t know this then, but I do now), I would rather have played soccer than go to dance class. I decided young that sports were going to be my life.

The next major defining moment in my sports career came in high school. I played softball, basketball, and did track and field on the school teams in junior high. In high school, I decided I didn’t want to play softball anymore and wanted to track. But that’s not the moment.

In high school, I played on the school basketball team for two years. When I was a senior, I knew I wasn’t going to get much playing time. I came from a school where we had a lot of talent on the team. I went to the head coach and asked him how much time I would get. And when he said slim to none, I started questioning my basketball career’s fate.

The defining moment came when I decided to quit basketball. I still went to all the games and was still around the team, but I didn’t have to exert all my energies for no reason anymore. To fill all my newfound free time, I started playing slow-pitch softball and I really focused on my track and field skills.

Now, during the summer, I play slow-pitch four nights a week. Last year, I was also able to coach a high-school track team. I discovered how much I love coaching and playing slow-pitch.

Defining moments don’t just have to define who you will be, but they can also define what teams you become a fan of. My senior year of high school, I went to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and was so amazed by it that I knew I was going to be a Ravens fan for life.

Defining moments in sports can determine who you will be, who you love and the direction of the game. Defining moments can be fun, emotional, exciting or draining. We will never forget whatever it is the defining moment defined.

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