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Lessons from the Softball Field

It’s been a few years but I am finally back to sitting on the sidelines watching my daughter play sports. Between my work, my school, my husband’s work and my daughter’s broken leg, we really haven’t been able to devote much time to sports. Now that our schedules are lighter and my daughter’s leg is completely healed, she is back out on the field.

I must say I missed seeing her have fun and learn how to work as part of a team. In addition, participating in sports allows my daughter to understand the importance of time management.  This is especially true in figuring out how to balance homework, practices and games!  She has also extended her circle of friends since she was able to play on an older team.  This is due to her date of birth relative to the cut-off for the specific age brackets. Not to mention, the exercise is good for her too!  Talk about the amount of transferable life lessons.

As I sit on the sidelines, I can truly say I am in awe. My daughter had not played in years and yet she put herself out there.  Softball was something she has always wanted to play and to start on an older team is tough.  She doesn’t remember much from her earlier team-sport experiences.  Plus, it was t-ball and nobody won or lost.  The age bracket she is currently on is child pitched and scores are kept.  Some of these kids have one heck of a pitch too!  But despite the newness of all of this, she shows up and she tries hard to learn what she can from the coaches and the other players.

After most games, the teams have a relay race around the bases.  It is a great way to end the game with everyone rooting each other on and getting out any remaining energy.  One day I sat there and cheered my daughter around the bases, I could see she was running her heart out.  She was towards the end of the lineup and her team had a slight lead over the visiting team.  As she rounded third heading home to tag the next runner, it happened.  In the blink of an eye, my daughter went from full sprint to a dead stop.  Her cleat got caught in a rut and she went down hard.  Face first with barely enough time to put up her hands.  The crowd went from loudly cheering to dead silence.  It was that kind of fall.

I fully expected her to lay on the ground crying and for her team to ultimately lose the relay.  But that is not at all what happened.  Instead, my daughter got right up and finished her leg of the relay.  At that point, you could tell she was holding back the tears and biting her bottom lip as the coach was assessing her for any injuries.   She ultimately did cry after all was said and done.  Despite the pain and some minor scrapes, there were no serious injuries from the fall.   Her team won the game that day but also the relay race.

How many times has this happened to you?  Not literally falling flat on your face, but figuratively.  Honestly there is such a profound lesson in this.  My daughter knew that she had people depending on her and that she needed to do her part and finish.  Despite the pain, she pushed through for her team when it would have been much easier just to stay down and cry.

Sometimes in family or work it is not about us.  Despite everything else, we must push through the pain, heart ache, difficulties and get to the finish line.  Whatever that may be- this is different for everyone.  Knowing that someone is depending on us, gives us a greater meaning and added responsibility.  This could be a child, a parent, a co-worker, a boss, a customer, etc.  I may pause to shed a tear or to eat a pint of ice cream but ultimately, I know that I too must push through because people are depending on me.  Whether we stumble with our children or loved ones or in our career, pushing through some of the difficult stuff will always make us a better person on the other end.

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