🥎 Dealing with the Uncontrollable: Tarin Travieso
Kansas softball’s 2020 season came to an abrupt end due to the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving an entire team of student-athletes in shock. In this latest series (Dealing with the Uncontrollable), we talk with some of the Jayhawks affected by this unforeseen action and how they have been handling the weeks following the decision.
Junior Tarin Travieso appeared in 15 games for the Jayhawks, including 12 starts in left field. She finished the 2020 season as one of seven players to have a batting average over .300 (10-for-33 for .303).
Q. What went through your mind when you first saw that the season was canceled?
“When I first found out, it was one of those feelings you get when something you have just suddenly gets taken from you. I remember thinking, ‘There’s no way this is happening right now,’ because this situation is so unprecedented. We have never experienced something like it before. I was absolutely gutted for the seniors this year all over the country, I cannot imagine how they felt.”
Q. How has your daily routine changed? What are you doing with your time?
“My daily routine has changed, but I’m a creature of habit so I tried to keep it as similar to our old schedule as much as possible. I usually wake up and call my parents back home to see how things are going in Texas. Then I’ll get a home workout in or try to get outside when the weather is nice. I spend quite a bit of time studying or doing homework. I have also been doing some puzzles, watching a few movies with my teammates and baking in my free time; I love to bake! (Haha!)”
Q. What do you miss most during all of this?
“I really miss seeing my teammates and my coaches every day, it feels so weird not being able to see them or hear them laugh. It’s kind of giving me a reminder to cherish these moments because I’m not going to be able to be with them every single day once I graduate. I also really miss the feeling of competing; whether it be in practice or a game, it’s always fun to have that sort of drive and different goals that you’re working to achieve.”
Q. If you knew that the doubleheader against Arkansas was going to be the final game of the season would you have done anything differently?
“I wouldn’t have done anything differently actually. Ever since I was old enough to understand how the sports world works, my dad would ALWAYS tell me, ‘Always play each game like it’s going to be your last because in the blink of an eye it could all be over.’ I would always think he was being a tad dramatic, but this year couldn’t have explained that sentence better.”
Q. How have your coaches, teammates and support staff helped you during this pandemic?
“The coaches, teammates and support staff have made this transition so much easier. They have done everything they can for us and have been taking it day by day. It’s a great feeling to know that you have people in your corner that are always there for you and genuinely concerned about you off the field.”
Q. What has been your favorite TV series that you have binged on that you would recommend for others right now?
“My favorite TV series right now has probably been either Grace and Frankie or Little Fires Everywhere. It just depends on how I’m feeling when you ask me.”
Q. Do you have any advice to any other student-athletes (current or future) when dealing with their mindset going forward?
“The biggest thing I have learned is to never take anything for granted. This time is so valuable and it goes by so quickly. The pandemic has proven to us that nothing is permanent and we should always be prepared to take on challenges and adapt as best as we can with a positive mindset.”