Marti Reed: Softball

When I was a little girl (around 10 years old) my mom took me to a UCLA softball game and I saw a Black shortstop who looked like me, Natasha Watley, and that’s when the seed was planted and my dream was to play softball at UCLA just like her.  I knew in order to play softball at UCLA, I had to work my tail off, not just out on the softball field, but in the classroom as well. “Even after believing in yourself, working hard and making sacrifices, things might still not go your way.” I remember when I met with the UCLA coaches for the first time when I was in high school, and the head coach looked me in the eye and said “Marti, we want you to play here. We want you to be a Bruin.  We have one scholarship left. But we need a catcher so we have to give it to another girl.” I played shortstop, so I missed out on that last athletic scholarship. Now I knew I couldn’t afford to go to UCLA without a scholarship so part of me wanted to give up on my dream, I had a moment of weakness and I questioned my abilities. I thought things like “why not me?” “was I ever good enough” and “I knew I should’ve been a catcher” (lol). But most importantly “How the heck am I going to attend UCLA without an athletic scholarship?” Thank the Lord I had great people in my life that lifted me up back on my feet when I fell down and wanted to give up. I have great parents who supported me and encouraged me not to give up because where there’s a will, there is a way.  And sometimes, you just gotta go make that way. 

“Those of you waiting on your perfect opportunity fail to realize that your opportunity is doing the exact same thing! It’s waiting on you! You’ve got to go out there and get it.” When they told me there was no athletic scholarship for me, I thought my opportunity was missed, I thought my dream was gone but little did I know in that moment God was preparing me for so much more.  I began to apply for academic scholarships… I applied for everything that I fit the category for… (and I mean EVERYTHING!) and I ended up earning enough academic scholarships to pay for my first 2 years at UCLA.  And in order to keep these academic scholarships when I got to UCLA, I was required and had an obligation to attend different types of leadership meetings on campus and get involved in different clubs, and do a ton of community service. So here I am doing all of these things to keep my academic scholarships, and the next thing you know, I’m the president of the Bruin Athletic Council, the next thing you know, I’m winning a national championship, then the next thing ya know I’m meeting the president of the United States Mr. Barack Obama at the white house, the next thing you know my hard work on the field earns me an athletic scholarship my Junior and Senior year, the next thing you know I’m graduating as BruinLife’s Senior of the Year for the impact I’ve made on and off the field…all because they didn’t have any athletic scholarship for me back when I thought my dream deferred.  “Our greatest disappointments in life can turn out to be our greatest successes.  Sometimes your plans have to fail so your purpose can prevail.” So don’t give up; never let a temporary setback be a permanent defeat.