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LOWE

“You’re a 13-year-old girl this summer. You’re out of school for almost 100 days. So what are you doing? Do you sleep late every morning? Binge watch TV shows? Sip pink lemonade and spend endless hours just doing nothing?”

These are questions I put to Hadley Adams, daughter of Tim and Amanda Adams. The teenager will be in the eighth grade when she returns to Barren County Middle School in August.

She beams with a big smile. It’s the same smile her mother uses. While I don’t know the entire family history, I do recognize that smile as one her grandmother Margie Thompson also displays.

“I love my life,” she says. “There’s never a dull moment. There’s always something new.”

There are family functions, church functions—she’s always on the go. During our visit, she tells me she’s going to Cincinnati later in the day. She’ll be playing in a Sub Region Tournament for the Olympic Development Soccer Team.

“Last year, I tried out for the team in E-Town and was one of a handful to make the auditions. I’ve already played in Memphis and somewhere in Indiana.”

“How did you do?”

“We’ve won two so far. It takes three days for each tournament, and practice is ongoing.”

Hadley is a part of the soccer team at Barren County High School.

“I love soccer. The team is like family, and the games are what make me keep coming back. It’s my favorite sport. Soccer is something you can always become better at. You could be playing for years and still learn something new.”

She’s also a football kicker, and spends about as much time with football as soccer. “It’s something most people don’t think about doing. I had to have courage to step up and try.”

“You mean, it took more courage for you because you’re a girl?”

She nods. “The boys took me in, though. All of them have been really supportive. Soccer’s a contact sport, so I felt comfortable with football.”

Hadley has also succeeded in the Beta Club, recently being elected as both the State and National President of Junior Beta. She will be spending a week this summer at Beta Camp. Later, she looks forward to speaking at several Beta Conventions.

“I’m looking forward to going all over the U.S., and meeting new people.”

“At least Beta is not a contact sport,” I comment.

“No, but it’s scary, too.” She’s referring to the public speaking.

In addition to her involvement in Beta and sports, Hadley also works occasionally on the family’s 66-acre farm in northern Barren County.

“I work in the hay, care for the cattle and mend fences,” she says.

During some of this summer’s evenings, she appears at various county fairs in beauty pageants. She tells me she recently got in the Top 10 at the Metcalfe County Fair and placed in Cumberland County. Other competitions were lined up during the summer.

She likes swimming when she has the opportunity, and she’s always going to the gym. The girl is keeping active, that’s for sure.

“I have to read every day for homework,” she adds. She may be dismissed from the classrooms for the summer, but reading lists for her school’s Magnet Program provide assignments. “I have to balance all my sports with my homework.”

“So, I guess you don’t sip pink lemonade and just do nothing,” I say.

Hadley shakes her head. Then there’s that smile again.