She stood in the batter’s box not knowing what to expect. It was just a practice, not a game, so there was no reason for the shake in her nerves. But staring ahead she was facing her teammate/pitcher who was highly feared throughout the league. Feared for the blazing speed in which she hummed the ball in this 11 year old girls fast pitch softball league(surely faster than any other 11 year old girl in the world), but feared just as equally for her propensity to throw the ball at your head rather than the catcher’s mitt. Some moments she was wild, others she was brilliant, a thing of sheer beauty. I challenge most men to hit the good pitches, but it was literally a moment by moment, pitch by pitch thing. That’s what brought the fear to the batters. They never knew what to expect and how can you settle into the batter’s box with that type of tension? And they knew that if they got hit by the pitch, it would hurt. Fast and wild…a dangerous and lethal mix. But back to the nervous batter in the batter’s box, my daughter, Shelby…no softball slouch in her own right. The first pitch came and smack, squared in her side. Shelby winced for a second, laughed it off and picked the ball up and threw it back to her teammate. She moves back into the batter’s box. The second pitch…bazinga, smacks her on the side of her left leg. Shelby hops around a bit, laughs as she always does and throws the ball back again. Without hesitation, she climbs back into the box and readies herself for another pitch. Another smack, somewhere on her body, I can’t remember. She got hit a couple more times, but each time she got back in the box and took her chances and her swings because eventually the brilliant pitches did come and Shelby whiffed…just like everyone else. No matter. She had already proved herself to me, her coaches and her teammates. She’s tough. Sure, maybe scared, but she’s not letting that stop her and she’s not letting the pounding keep her down. She dusts off her pants, gets her feet planted and stares down her foe for another round. She may get hurt and she may get beat, but not without a fight. She’ll go down swinging. Is there a lesson for all of us in this story?

5 thoughts

  1. Too funny… I just heard about this FAST pitcher yesterday (From Tim)! Thanks for the blog!

    Good metaphor for life… life can hurt – it can be FAST and scary and thrilling and beautiful! We never know what were are going to get next – or if we even get a next breath. No matter what… it’s all good (even when it does not feel like it!) Sometimes we are blessed to “hit it” and others, not so much… but we are NOT in control, just a player or participant in this game of life. We can choose to have fun and move past the hurt… and if we learn to lean on our Lord and Savior in the good and the bad – we KNOW the outcome – no matter win or loose – is better than any victory here in earth! Accepting the gift is the best choice we could ever make! I am grateful for second and third and forth chances!

  2. As one of Shelby’s coaches I certainly remember this day well. Not only was she willing to get back in the box for the next pitch, but she almost seemed more concerned that Julia felt bad for hitting her. So, she would smile and tell Julia it was ok. This made Julia almost panic more. The more she tried not to hit Shelby….the more she hit her. Shelby definitely proved toughness that day, but also compassion. Having been blessed enough to coach her for 3 years now, she never ceases to amaze me. She had already won over her teammates a long time ago, but that evening at practice solidified a reputation as a brave and tough competitor. It affected my daughter Chloe. On the way home from practice she talked about how bad she felt for Shelby……but then she said,” It was kind of cool to see her just shrug it off, and get right back in there. It made me feel more confident when I got in there that if I got hit…..I wouldn’t die!” I love love love Shelby. Regardless of age she is just a joy to be around.

  3. that is really good.
    i ESPECIALLY like the one about me. (What does PX90 have to do with Gods’ Sufficent Grace).

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