America’s favorite pastime. Baseball.
I love every bit of the game of baseball. I believe the passion for this game has been passed down to me through at least a few generations. Do I want my Detroit Tigers to win? Of course! But truthfully, playoff baseball in October is exciting to me regardless if the Motown boys have made it there. Living an hour away from Comerica Park, I try to make it to as many regular season games as possible. In this stadium I feel at home, safe-no fear of anything bad can happening, excited, knowledgeable The Tiger’s home field for me is the equivalent of Disney World to a child! My happiest place on earth.
From my sophomore year I had been chosen to play varsity softball for my high school. Fast pitch softball would be as close as this girl would get to being a professional ball player. I held the back up short stop position, behind a senior. Being able to run home to tell my parents I had made the varsity team was a huge deal for me. My Dad and I didn’t always connect (I was an extremely emotional teen, whew! I think “poor Dad” as I recall those days) but we definitely had a sports connection. I knew he’d be so proud of me. I recall bringing all my varsity gear home from practice clothes to our new uniforms. I knew I had excellent athletic ability and couldn’t wait to prove what I could do on the field.
I proved nothing that softball season. Something inside me retreated and I mentally lost, everything. I was a naive young girl at this time for sure, I didn’t party, didn’t get in trouble etc. Somehow the head coach picked up on this and mercilessly singled me out any chance she was given. I will never know why she pushed me this way, perhaps to make myself feel better, I can believe she did so because she saw I was different than most others on the team. Anyways, her treatment of me shook me into a girl that didn’t know how to play the game. I actually forgot how to throw. No joke, I truly did. And what I mean by this is that, throwing right-handed (by the way I write with my left-hand but do everything else with my right), I would step forward also with my right foot. The correct way is to step forward with the opposite foot (my left) that you throw with. I still remember taking time in practice to work on this.
Honestly this astounds me to this very day. I had a mental breakdown basically from the fear and intimidation she sent my direction. I couldn’t handle it and let that fear win. I lost my joy for the game of baseball even, didn’t care to watch MLB on TV. My confidence was lost in fear.
Sophomore year was one of the lowest points in my life. Even though I was a teenager, it still upsets me that I allowed someone to crush my confidence in who I was. Don’t let anyone cripple who you are. Playing softball and playing it smart was very natural to me, and a girl with great athletic ability was brought down to having to learn how to throw the ball again. We can turn that fear into positive results for us when we don’t let it control us.