I am a softball player.
I was born when the first “crack” of a yellow ball hit on the sweet spot of a Louisville Slugger echoed around a field.
I have been many people many places.
I am Jennie Finch, focusing souly on the catcher’s glove as I push off the rubber.
I am Coach Jason Nickerson, pushing my team the Raptors to be the best we can be even when it hurts.
I am Cal Ripken Jr., ripping the ball over the fence that once seemed so far away.
The names of those who have practiced my profession are Babe Ruth, Dot Richardson, Carol Hutchins, Joyce Compton, Erica Brittingham, Tim Towers, and many more.
Throughout the course of a day, I have been called upon to be a student, coach, sister, first aid kit runner, writer, raker, line drawer, cheerleader, thief, and much more.
I am a paradox… I am the most efficient when I’m at my lowest point.
I play for the name on the front of my jersey, not the back.
Although winning is always the biggest goal in the game, I’m always looking to learn from my mistakes and get better by giving it my all.
I am the most fortunate of all those who play.
A basketball player can hear the "swish" of the three point shot they just made go through the net.
A softball player can hear the “pop” of the ball stinging the first baseman’s glove after fielding a play.
A field hockey player can drive the ball up the field past others.
A softball player can drive the ball past the dirt and into the green grass.
I am a warrior, every game battling rude coaches, determined players, blind umpires, nerves, pressure, and intense bracket games.
But I have great allies: Determination, Love, Faith, Curiosity, Teamwork, Balance, Passion, Metal Cleats, Icepacks, and many more.
And who do I have to thank for this wonderful life I am so fortunate to have?
But you, my dad for coaching all my Little League teams, coming to every game you can, keeping the book, and getting me interested in softball in the first place.
My mom for driving me to tryouts, practice, and always being my biggest fan.
All my coaches who have ever given me a chance and taught me all I know.
And everyone that has ever told me I couldn’t do it, for giving me the determination to prove you wrong.
And so I have a past that is full of crazy signs from coach, turn twos, rosters, teams, and memories that can’t be forgotten.
A present that is dedicated to the challenge.
And a future with even more battle wounds, ripped pants, blood, sweat, and a few tears.
I am a softball player… And I wear my jersey with pride.