Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Jennie Finch

I walked into her parent's house and I was flooded with the memories. The afternoons we spent whispering about the boys in our English class over freshly brewed iced-tea, the nights we spent the night on her trampoline staring at the stars, the mornings we spent borrowing clothes from each other. What felt like yesterday was more than eight years ago.

Her parents have their walls lined with her softball trophies, plaques, and awards. In every corner, there's some hunk of metal with her name engraved on it. The refrigerator is covered with newspaper clippings and the ad campaigns she'’s done. But no matter how many accomplishments and athletic accolades she has received, she is an even better friend.

My best friend since high school is Jennie Finch, who also happens to be the USA Olympic Softball Pitcher. We've maintained our friendship over the years and have grown together. I was in her wedding, and she--—amidst modeling for Sports Illustrated and traveling for Olympic promo campaigns--—flew to Hawaii for mine. We email and call each other often, so when she told me she was visiting her parents this week, we scheduled lunch with a few of our best friends.

Because I happen to be one of the luckiest girls in the world, I threw out my back yesterday while playing tennis. Just as I was about to gloriously return a serve, I swung and felt my back give out on me. Great, just great. I was in bed most of the day yesterday and all of this morning. I was just about to cancel lunch, but realized that Jennie will be traveling internationally this summer with the Olympic team, so seeing her and her newborn son may be difficult. I literally crawled out of bed and got ready.

I'm so glad I did.

I spent most of the afternoon on Jennie’s couch, but it was worth every second. And I'm sure the Vicodin helped a little :) We reminisced about old times and caught up on each other’s lives. Laying in the Finch's living room made me thankful for my friendship with Jennie, and all my other friends I've had since high school. I'’m happy to stand with her as she succeeds, and cheer her on as she follows her dreams. As Jennie moves forward and accomplishes her goals, a small piece of me accomplishes it too. For this, I'm indebted to her.

Jennie, I love you and I’m so happy to be a special part of your son's life.


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