When Life Throws a Fastball, Be Ready to Hit the Curve

May 7, 2008
As I was walking down what seemed to be the longest hallway of my life, I could hear someone stammering behind me.

“Linds, wait up,” Neumann said in a bitter voice.

Hearing a familiar voice made me feel a little more comfortable, but I was still unsure of what was to come. The whole softball team had been called down to the lecture hall for a meeting. As Neumann and I were walking down the hallway, we were brainstorming all the things that could await us in the lecture hall. Was it our coaches? Was it police officers? We just weren’t sure. As we got closer to the door, there was awkwardness luring in the air around us.

“You’re dropping your shoulder,” “keep your chin down,” “extend through the ball.” These are only some of the great coaching techniques that our coach preached. I soaked up everything he said because I knew I would use it sometime in my softball career, whether it was next week or when I got to college. Neumann and I had played on his team for two years before he retired. In those two years we won state once and got runner-up once. But this year he wasn’t coaching us anymore.

As I opened the door, Neumann followed close behind into the lecture hall. What I s aw before me was no surprise; the whole softball team was sitting with the same cold, disappointed, sad look on their faces. As the counselors walked in, I knew something serious was up. Whether it was about the Coach or not was the real question. When all of the coaches walked in simultaneously I was assured this meeting was about our former coach. As the counselor started to talk, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Once she explained to us that Coach had been accused of using child pornography, all I could hear were the sobs of my teammates. All I could think of was why; why would you do this to yourself? You had so much going your way. You had all these girls who admired what you did and how you molded them into the great softball players they are today. I felt as if he had betrayed us, like everything he taught me was meaningless, like I never really knew who he truly was.

As I walked out of the lecture hall with all of the teammates close behind, all I could think of was what others were going to think of us as a team, our school, and legacy that he had built. I felt as if they would see us as the team with the former coach who looked at child porn- not the team that won ten straight state championships, and eleven in the last twelve years. I knew that everyone would have a different perspective of us now that this happened. Was it the teams fault for not knowing? Were there any signs before that we just didn’t see?

I thought about this incident for the next month; it was going through my mind at every moment, like a disease. This was probably the most devastating thing that happened to me in my high school career but I was forced to realize that the crime he committed was the truth. After seeing the news over and over again, I came to the realization that this was life; and when life throws a fastball, be ready to hit the curve.

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