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.
Katherine Appelbe, Softball, Team Co-Captain
Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
House Affiliation: Adams
As I sit in the dugout watching the world go by on a rainy afternoon before practice, the memories of the past four years come flooding back. There is no better place to reflect on my experience here at Harvard than in a quiet dugout, the place where I have felt moments of failure and success with my team. I’m looking at the eight Ivy League logos that line the fences, and highlights from dozens of conference games, bus trips, team traditions, grueling workouts, and countless other memories play like a movie reel through my mind. I have shared some of the most amazing moments on this field with my team that evoke indescribable feelings. Softball is a game of failure and when it is hard, it is really hard. It is unforgiving and makes you work for every ounce of success, so when you finally find that success, you feel like you are on top of the world. Seeing your teammates hit a grand slam, hit their first home run to give us the go-ahead run, make a diving catch, strikeout the last batter to win an Ivy League title; these are the moments that I have lived for the past four years. The countless hours spent across the river are the moments I loved. Waking up every morning and knowing that I got to go play the game I love with the people who I call my family was the greatest gift. Harvard softball has given me so much and I can only hope to have given at least something small back to this amazing program.
One week before we began conference games, I broke my hand diving into second base. When I got the news that it was a six-week recovery, it was devastating news. I couldn’t fathom not playing the last games of my senior season. I could not accept this as the end, so I pushed to play as soon as possible, which meant doing whatever it took to get back out on that field with my teammates. After three weeks I was back in my jersey behind the plate where everything else around me disappears and I know that is where I am meant to be. This was a minor setback in my final season in a Harvard softball jersey. Through this setback, I learned the importance of fighting for what you are passionate about. It led me to take a step back and realize how much this game means to me and the impact it has had on my life. Without this game, I would not have met some of the most important people in my life, be who I am today, or learned half of the lessons I have learned along the way.
The lessons that I have learned from being a part of the Harvard Athletics community are invaluable. My coaches have been an integral part of my success here and I cannot thank them enough for the opportunity to play for Harvard. It is one of the greatest privileges that I could have ever imagined being afforded and I am thankful for it each and every day. My teammates have shaped my experience here and have become my family over the past four years. Even though wearing #12 for the Crimson is coming to an end, I cannot wait to continue to be a part of the Harvard softball family and see the great things that are yet to come for this special program.