I started to play t-ball when I was about five and I continued until I was 19. Our team was a town team to start, no tryouts, just pay and join. I always was a little scared of the ball so I enjoyed playing outfield. When a few of us went to the nearest big town to play softball, I started to really specialize in outfield. I loved the feeling of making a big catch, throwing it home, and getting that girl out, too!
As much as I played and loved the sport of softball, it wasn't something I was naturally gifted at like some incredible girls I played with. I had to work very hard to play, especially hit the ball. I was a consistent batter but never anything really special. I liked to step in the bucket (step back a little rather than toward the pitcher) and worked many hours on correcting that fault (which always came back each season).
|image via KTCI Radio|
I continued to play even a year of college softball until I felt the Lord calling me to other things. That was very difficult for me because, until that point, it was my life. I was known as a softball player and even now, hardly anyone I know knows I played to that level of softball. If you'd seen my clothing during that time, my t-shirts were mostly from tournaments I or my sisters had played in. I even spent several summers umpiring for other leagues; I really enjoy the sport that much.
The camaraderie I felt on a team with other like-minded girls was terrific. I knew I'd have a buddy to hang out with on weekends. I knew that we could talk about anything in the dugout (or swimming pool between tournament games). I knew that my teammates were counting on me to play my best and I couldn't let them down. I never got the most playing time or hit the home run but when I played, I tried my hardest! I worked hard! I went to batting practice and put in the time to learn how to be a better outfielder. I played other positions if we needed me to - first base, catcher, third base. Thankfully, none of those stuck because I really did't like the ball so close to me!
I've put the same effort into running in the more recent years, although injury keeps getting the better of me. But I hope my kids see that effort. I hope they desire to be part of a team and know that they are important to that team even when they aren't the superstar. Chances are my kids are going to be mediocre athletes - and that's ok! I was, my husband was. It wasn't the sport that changed us or grew us, it was the work put in, the effort given, the attitudes behind the sport. I want my kids to give their all no matter what they do - drama camp, art camp, soccer, swim team, Cub Scouts - even playing soccer in our front yard! I want them to try their best - win or lose. And I hope they pick up on having a good attitude no matter the outcome (still working on that one) because this life is not all winning and we all need to continue on with joyful hearts despite setbacks and sufferings and trials.
|image via Grace Hill Media|
Director: Sean McNamara
Writers: David Aaron Cohen, Elissa Matsueda
Producers: Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, Mark Ciardi, Scott Holroyd
Cast: Helen Hunt, William Hurt, Danika Yarosh, Erin Moriarty
Production Company: LD Entertainment
Distributor: LD Entertainment / Mirror