Hey there! My name's Sara Sommerlade and I'm a fourteen-year-old Pokémon Trainer about to begin her journey through Sinnoh! Of course, if you couldn't tell my by late start, my journey is a bit different from your average one. You see, I was actually born and raised in Hoenn- in Mauville City, to be specific- and my family moved to Sinnoh (Pastoria City) about four years ago.
I could have started my journey after we moved but that move was really hard on me. You see, my dad is a Pokémon Researcher and my mom works for the Pokémon Daycare so I was quite literally raised alongside Pokémon and had a lot more detailed interaction with them than most children. Mom and dad were always telling me about this and that regarding Pokémon and I spent a lot of time playing with Pokémon in the daycare. In fact, thanks to that and the fact that I was homeschooled, pretty much all of my friends for the first several years of my life were Pokémon. I got especially close to a rather lonely looking Torchic.
Thanks to all of that, I always had a strong desire to learn everything there is to know about Pokémon. More than that, I wanted to put my knowledge to use by becoming the Regional Champion of Hoenn. I can't really say what made me later focus on that one goal rather than becoming a Breeder or Researcher or Professor but I did. By the time I was six (according to my parents since I don't really remember that far back very well), I started seriously researching everything I could about the Hoenn Pokémon League. I learned the locations and types of every Gym in Hoenn as well as the favored Pokémon of the Elite Four. I could tell you what Trainer Routes to take to get you anyplace you wanted to go. I knew all of the type advantages and weaknesses and could quote the entire Hoenn Dex forwards and backwards. I knew the typical habitats of every Pokémon in the region and had my entire team planned out.
Eventually, my parents started to take me to the local playground more and I actually made some human friends. While my parents supported my obsession, I think they wanted me to expand a bit and actually spend some time learning about other humans rather than focusing singularly on Pokémon. Of course, this backfired somewhat when I ended up just pulling my four friends into my madness. All it took was a few stories about some of the Legendaries sighted in the region and mentioning some of the cooler, lesser known details about certain Pokémon and they were right with me.
I still remember all of the long nights we spent staying up way past our bedtimes as we talked about Pokémon. One night, as we were all about to pass out, we promised each other that we would all reach the Hoenn League at the same time and have an all-out battle to see who would become Champion while the rest became the Elite Four. We'd take the rest of the Pokémon League by storm and show those old guys how to really battle. Honestly, in hindsight, some of our talks sounded like we were plotting some grand revolution and would change the entire world for no other reason than because we could. We were all born in the same year so we would wait until my birthday when everyone was ten years old and we'd all start our journey together.
Of course, then everything changed. About six months before I turned ten, my dad got offered a position at Pastoria City branch of Professor Mahogany's (the guy who replaced Professor Rowan when he retired) lab. Dad's particular field of study was deemed a lot more useful to the research going on there and his knowledge and talents would be put to much better use. Since my mom had no issues just using her credentials to get a job at Pastoria City's Pokémon Daycare, he naturally took the job offer.
I don't really blame him for taking it but I was devastated. We'd leave about two weeks before my tenth birthday and I'd never be able to keep the promise I made with my friends. I was leaving every friend I ever made- human and Pokémon alike- and was leaving the place where all of my knowledge and planning mattered. Truth be told, I had actually contemplated taking a Starter and running away. I'd be basically on my own once I turned ten and started my journey anyway so what difference did a few weeks or so make? Of course, in the end, I loved my family too much to go through with it.
It wasn't all bad, though. The other researchers who worked with my dad all knew me since he'd often take me to the lab when I was old enough if nothing major was happening and they felt bad for me so they decided to give me a present during my dad's going away party. After clearing it with Professor Birch, they decided to let me take a piece of Hoenn with me and choose my Starter before we left. I had the standard choice between a Torchic, a Treeko, and a Mudkip but, despite it not being my original plan, the choice was obvious to me. The Torchic I could choose just so happened to be the same lonely looking Torchic I had befriended in the daycare so I chose her as my Starter and named her Reighnel (Rey for short).
After we moved, I was super busy. I had to help get everything moved in and then had to help my mom get the house set up since my dad had to start working on a big project basically the day we arrived. After that, my mom ended up needing my help at the surprisingly understaffed daycare so I had no time to really contemplate things. When I wasn't unpacking boxes or helping my mom, I'd often end up kinda moping in my room with Rey (who was rarely in her Pokeball). I just didn't have the drive or energy to do much of anything. When my tenth birthday came, I ended up locking myself in my room with Rey and spent pretty much the entire day looking at the picture my friends sent me of them in their travelling gear with their Starters and imagining what kind of crazy adventures I could be having if I was with them. I was already super depressed so I couldn't imagine what I'd have been like if Rey hadn't been cuddling up with me to try and get me to cheer up.
Eventually a year passed and things finally quieted down. We finished moving in, Mom got more help at the daycare, Dad's project hit a stable period, and there was nothing for me to focus on. That's when I became really depressed. With nothing to do, I just kinda stopped doing much of anything. I was staying indoors basically all the time, I'd be locked in my room all hours of the day, I was hardly eating, and I just wasn't doing much of anything. Pretty much the only thing I would do on my own was play with Reighnel who could never fail to make me feel a bit better.
My parents naturally noticed my downward spiral and were greatly concerned. Going from the Number One Hyperactive Pokémaniac to basically a blob of slush superglued to the couch was a pretty startling change, after all. My parents wouldn't stand for such a change, of course, and they knew exactly what buttons to push to get me to motivate myself. You see, I have a perfectionist streak a mile wide and a competitive streak ten miles wide so, when my dad just casually mentions that there are more Pokémon in the Sinnoh Dex than the Hoenn Dex and that he's not sure if anyone can remember them all, it starts nagging at me. On some level, I knew that he was just manipulating me but he did it subtly enough that said knowledge didn't really affect the challenge laid before me. A bit later, my mom got in on it when she bought me a bicycle (complete with a little basket for Rey to ride in). She'd have me go to Valor Lakefront or even Hearthome City to pick up this or that and would tell me to be careful since she heard about this rare Pokémon or that shiny Pokémon appearing on the route (even though I never took the Trainer Routes). Then she'd tell me stories she's heard at her job about rare Pokémon from all over Sinnoh and wondered aloud where other rare Pokémon could be found.
Then my parents took me on a picnic to Lake Valor where my dad started talking about some Legendary Pokémon said to live in the lake and about some massive explosion that took place there twenty years ago. How could my depression stand a chance in the face of all that? I really don't know if curing someone of their depression by drowning them in their past obsession is a good idea but, hey, it worked for me.
So I got back on it. I didn't really have the time for all of the research I had done back in Hoenn but I spent the next year-and-a-half making my plans. I familiarized myself with the Sinnoh Dex, planned my route, planned my team, and made sure everything was prepared. With my parents supporting me and Reighnel at my side, I was ready to finally do what I should have done years ago:
I'm gonna become the Champion of the Sinnoh Pokémon League!