The summer sun beat down on the finely kept field all season. Which is why you’ll usually find me in the shade amongst the trees during my brother’s games. I always thought that was the reason, the blistering heat that kept me away from the game. But I came to realize it was always the bat.
Whenever the players came up to bat, a sinking feeling filled my stomach. I never liked the noise it made when the ball collided with the metal. It scared me.
My mom eventually signed me up for softball. I was forced to face my fear of bats. I hated the way they rattled with consequence after the swing. I hated how I felt like I had no control over the metal cylinder. I hated the way you had to make a decision. When the almighty pitcher threw the ball towards me. I seemed to freeze. I’m not very good at making decisions and executing them. I would watch each pitch get caught in the catcher’s hand simultaneously.
I always waited.
I never made a move.
Another one of my fears was growing up. All the girls on my team seemed ecstatic about the thought of getting older. The freedom to do whatever you want when you want. But this freedom still comes with a price. A price I’m not sure if I’m willing to pay just yet.
My teammates’ swings were always so flawless and confident without a second of hesitation.
I had a lot of time to study their motions because I was always last on the batting list. Swift yet strong. And as I notice on this field of life nothing happens. If the player strikes out nothing happens. No bases are changed, and no points scored. Nothing will change in your life if you don’t make that decision. That swing of the bat. The person who overcomes the left field will overcome the world.
I remember reluctantly dragging my cleated shoes to home base and bringing myself to look at the almighty pitcher, the one who determines what is thrown at me. I glare and smile to myself a bit. I am in control of my own actions. I can make the decision. I can swing the bat.
I remember swinging the bat, making the decision to make a low, shallow ball that only made it to shortstop and was eventually caught by first base before I could reach it.
I was satisfied with this small victory. It led me to making bigger decisions.
Even though every swing may not be perfect or as strong as the last one, there’s always the next.