Every Game is a Life Lesson

June 1, 2011
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I stepped off the mound, looked down the foul line, cleared my mind, pounded the ball into my glove and said to myself, “I will get this out.” Looking at my second baseman’s eye-black smeared face in his black baseball uniform I took a deep breath taking in the smell of leather and dirt to the ear piercing ping of the ball off the bat. Closing my eyes I picture myself being great and winning this game for my team.
I stepped back on, looked the batter down with complete determination, and then pounded strikes one, two, and three. This wasn’t my first strike out and definitely wasn’t going to be my last.

I was told once that I wasn’t good enough to play, so I fought harder. When I was diagnosed with flat feet that would hold me back from my dream of being a college baseball player, I fought harder. When doctors said I had scoliosis and it would get worse as I got older, I fought harder. When arthritic problems seemed to haunt me every time I stepped on the diamond, I fought harder. Every time I button up that uniform and lace up those cleats I brush off the dirt that holds me back, I fight harder.

My determination when facing diversity throughout my life has carried me to heights I never could have reached if I would have sat back and said “I can’t do it” or “I’m not good enough.” Every time a bad thought came into my mind I squashed it with a positive thought and kept going, knowing I was never going to stop fighting harder than the person I was competing against.

When I step between those sugary white baselines, I prepare for a mission, a mission of success, a mission of perfection. I can relate baseball in a lot of ways to school. Throwing a shutout or pitching without any flaws is receiving an A on a test that I was prepared for. Throwing a perfect game and then losing in the end is preparing as hard as I can then realize all I prepared for wasn’t what I need to prepare for. I learn an important lesson every time I play the game I love, controlling what I can control, take what I am given and make the best of it. I can control how I approach every game and everyday of my life. I can control how hard I will fight to be the best I can possibly be with no regrets. I will never stop fighting no matter what is dealt to me.

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