What Doesn't Kill You Only Makes You Stronger

May 7, 2011
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Darkness swallowed the field. Dirt covered our faces. Our arms were sore and our legs were bruised. Time had run out, but we were not about to give up. There was nothing that was going to stop us. Nothing that is, except a coin.

I felt like someone had hit me in the stomach with my own bat. It was unbelievable. We had lost the game. We had lost the game to a coin toss. It was not just any game. It was the City Championship Softball Semi-Finals. We had played our hearts out all night, under the stars and barely being able to see the ball. The game had been all tied up and we had played three extra innings. My team and I were in shambles, our faces were almost unrecognizable from the eye black, dirt, and sweat. Softball was not just a game to us, it was a lifestyle. My team was not just a team, we were a family.

We knew the other team. They were all a year older than us, making the loss even harder to take. I knew what was going through my teammates' minds. It was the same that was going through my own. I walked onto the field to shake the other team's hands. It was the last thing I wanted to do. They did not deserve the win. They had laughed in our faces and had lost the respect young girls have for older girls.

Be the better man. Or in this instance, be the better girl. That is what was going on in my head right then. I had to show the other team that we were not quitters and we never give up. I remember walking on to the field with my team, trying to look tough and unshaken. We gathered around the mound and Dusty did the honors. She screamed our cheer as loud as she could and we yelled back just as loud. A little bit of the burden was lifted off of our shoulders.

Emotions were flying as I remember walking off the field. Some girls were crying and some looked hard as stone. We had been the underdogs. In the movies, the underdogs always win, but this was real life. This was the real thing.

In a positive light, we had come out on top. We had tied up the game and kept it like that for three extra innings. Being younger, the other team had thought they were going to win with flying colors. Being younger, we made them dive in the dirt and roll in the grass. If we were going to lose, we were going to go out with a bang.

One year later, we battled the same team again. We played against them on the same field and for the City Championship Softball Semi-Finals, exactly like the year before. That year, they said to bring it on. Well guess what? We brought it. There was no coin toss or threat of darkness. There was only me and my team. The underdogs had come out on top.

Life is like softball. You have your hits and you have your misses. Sometimes you can get away walking, but sometimes you strike out. There are bad calls and there are great calls. No matter what kind of player you are, always keep your head up, because you never know when the next chance to do something great is going to come along.





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