The 2015 Senior Perspectives is the 10th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.
For a complete listing of 2015 Senior Perspectives,click here.
Adrienne Hume, Softball
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
House Affiliation: Lowell
A recruit once asked me where my favorite place was on the Harvard campus. This was a question I had never really thought about before. After taking a second to gather my thoughts, my answer was Palmer Dixon. A couple teammates that were standing around listening to the conversation laughed, thinking I was being my usual sarcastic and joking self. For once this was not the case. I am sure many Harvard athletes are not fans of our weight room, considering they have probably found themselves rolling out sore muscles on the verge of tears, doing enough pull-ups to last them a lifetime, and at some point riding death itself…the airdyne. While doing all of these things over the course of four years has not exactly been pleasant, the pain in those times of struggle is not what I hold onto. Instead, I remember the feeling of triumph when the whole team passed the conditioning test, the excitement of teammates crushing long-standing records, the cheers to get someone through their last rep, and the pure determination to win that fueled every second of our workouts.
All of the effort that we put forth was not only for our season, and ourselves but for our coaches, our families, and our University. There is tremendous pride that comes from wearing Harvard across your chest, pride that never waned in the duration of my four years. My freshman year I first noticed the “Harvard Crimson” sign written on the back wall of Palmer Dixon. Visible from anywhere in the gym, it would go on to be my focal point for the next three years. There were times in PD that I was pushed to my limits, but if there was ever a doubt in my mind about whether what I was doing was worth it, looking up and seeing that sign was always immediate motivation. It reminded me where I was and the opportunity I was given, and that I could most definitely run a few more shuttles.
As cliché as it sounds, being a student-athlete on the Harvard softball team has been a dream come true and working out in PD, where only the varsity athletes train, was a constant reminder of that. Given the chance, I would not do a single thing differently. Being a part of the softball program has changed my life. As an individual I have learned lessons I could not have come by any other way. I have faced adversity and frustrations that at times seemed insurmountable, but that caused me to fight and overcome these challenges, teaching me just how resilient I could be if I set my mind to it. The physical demands of Division I athletics were initially daunting and made me question whether I was capable of what was being asked of me. Having encouraging teammates that led by example helped me tackle these fears of inadequacy and become faster and stronger than I ever could have imagined. The constant rain and snow cancellations taught me to be flexible and find a way to smile when nothing seemed to be going our way. With these experiences instilled in us, I am confident that my teammates and I are ready for whatever life has to throw at us, pun intended. With that all said, the unbreakable friendships that I have made over the last four years are particularly special to me. My teammates have seen and supported me through all the highs and lows and kept me laughing every step of the way. When I say every step of the way, I am talking airports, hotels, buses, vans, training rooms, Panera’s, you name it and HSB has been there laughing hysterically.
Harvard can be a stressful place, but being a part of the athletic community has helped with managing that stress. I have never had coaches who are so genuinely concerned with their players’ well being and success and for this reason I will be forever grateful to them for pushing me as a player and caring for me as a person. Harvard Softball will always be a part of me, long after I graduate. I know my days on the team will end up being some of the best moments of my life and I look forward to reminiscing about all the things that made us laugh and the Coachisms that will be engrained in our minds forever. Being on this team is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me and I am extremely fortunate to have been able to play with such a fun, impressive, and amazingly strong group of women in my time here at Harvard.