LYNDHURST, N.J.– Her athleticism and feisty nature made it difficult for Erin Trippi to fit in with her peers in Lyndhurst.
She struggled with weight issues, insecurity and discipline problems. Every time she stepped on the field or an ice hockey rink, she said, she was an "immediate target" for opposing players.
“No one wants the girl being better than the boy in sports. That’s kind of taboo," Trippi, 23, told Daily Voice.
But focusing all her energy on athletics saved her life.
"It kept my body and mind occupied and out of trouble," she said. "I sacrificed a lot to prepare for my future. I didn’t have weekends off because of sports."
At 12 years old, Trippi starred for Montclair Blue's Squirt A boys travel ice hockey team and set a national home run record for females – nine in 16 games – while playing for Lyndhurst's Little League baseball team.
The next year, Trippi made the switch to softball – something she wasn't happy with at the time.
“i wasn’t like [the other girls]," she said. "They weren't there to win. They were there to participate."
Trippi displayed a competitive drive, her health be damned: She once broke her wrist making a diving catch.
“I caught the ball, so that’s the most important thing," she said. “You just have to keep getting up."
By 16 – in the midst of decorated four-year varsity career at Paramus Catholic – Trippi, a 5-foot-5 catcher, was verbally committed to Division I Hofstra University. There, she was part of three league championship-winning squads while studying Business Management with a minor in entrepreneurship.
"I knew after college, life begins. You have to know that going in," she said. "You give everything you’ve got to your sport. There has to be a balance between education and athletics.”
Trippi earned her residential real estate license after graduation and works for a Manhattan-based commercial property management company.
Being an athlete taught Trippi about “being selfless, being part of a team” once she entered her career.
While the lure of coaching the sport is still there, Trippi is happy in her new venture.
“My career will always come before anything.”
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