Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My First Love

So for those of you who thought this would be about a boy...sorry but not this time lol! We live in too small of a town to be talking about that kinda stuff :)

Sports. That's my first love.
And if you sit down and think about it (which I have a countless number of times), it's really ironic.

Let's give the girl who has the body that's attacking itself all of the athletic genes.

Makes complete sense, doesn't it?
While the whole thing may be filled with irony, I really do hope that I've at least proven myself when it comes down to it.

There are a few reasons why this post is about sports.

The first being that the wonderful team I managed last season, UWF women's basketball is leaving today to go play in their next set of games. They just won the first ever GSC championship for the school last weekend. Working with that team made me realize how much I appreciated sports and missed the feeling of being apart of a team. Good luck Ladies! Bring home another Championship!!

The other reason being that I took my cousin, Layney, to the gym a few weeks ago for volleyball practice and when I walked into Baker School's gym I was overwhelmed with the memories.

The smell. And no, not the sweaty kids smell, but the smell of the gym floor and just the feelings that it brings back.

I think of all the war stories from the games that on any given day, my oldest friend Ariel (she's literally had my back on and off the field and court since preschool) could tell you. Yo- just leave the one out about me chasing the girl from laurel hill after she pushed me...or you pushing me back down when I wanted to go after that pace girl. Let's just only tell the ones when I didn't have a temper.... ;)

And how could I forget running all of those laps around the gym, praying each time Coach Combest wouldn't make us run more.

Then I looked up. Every time I walk in that gym I think that my name should be up there. My name should be written on the banners with all of my teammates.
But it's not.

The last game I ever played was the first one I was allowed to dress out for after I had my bad scare. I begged coach the whole game to just put me in...
She did in the last 30 seconds. And in those 30 seconds, I knew that I would never play like I used to. My body couldn't handle the speed of the game.

Basketball was the first sport I said goodbye to. It was the one I loved more than the others and when my body couldn't take it anymore....I had to leave.

My second love was softball. My dad used to have to carry me over his shoulders after a game because my ankles were too swollen for me to walk.
But I loved it.
I made varsity in the 9th grade and I can remember going to practice with the older girls and wanting to learn all the plays so I could be as good as them. I think I still remember that Britney or Amanda would go to Gracie when coach would yell Green? It's been almost 8 or 9 years since memory is a little rusty.

But The day came though when I realized I couldn't play anymore.
This was a horrible day too. It was my first season back since I had my health scare and I decided I would go ahead and try out.
I did fine with fielding the ball, but then it came time to hit.

I missed every single one.

Coach Carlisle came and pulled me out of class the next day and said that I could be on the team, have a jersey, but I wouldn't be playing.

That hurt.
So I thanked him and told him no. If I couldn't play well, there was no since in me even being on the team.
That would just tick me off more.

Most people have a choice. I did, but I didn't. I chose to give it up so I could live a less painful life, but that decision was one of the hardest I've ever had to make. That decision in itself was more painful than anything I had gone through because giving something up that you love, your first love, is the type of heartbreak you can never get over.

I walked away because I knew it was the right decision.
Do I regret that?
Not every day, but on my good days because I know I could have pushed myself to play, but that would have resulted in another set of problems.

Would that have made me the best player I could be?
Would I have been as good as I was before my health scare?
Both of those answers to that question are no.
And because of that, I had to walk away.

I play sometimes...when I need to think or when I miss it.
Sometimes I find my sweet spot and can hit a few 3's in a row or I just go practice my free throws.
It's been almost a year since I shot a basketball though.
And I still haven't swung a baseball bat since that dreaded softball tryout. I've thrown a ball a few times since then though.

I'll let you know if I can still make a double play when I'm playing second base, I'll really find out when my church group plays it's first intramural game in a few weeks.

Until then, just know that sometimes the hardest decisions have to be made, not for the results at the time, but for the results in the long run.

I'm so thankful that I was blessed with the athletic genes and as much as I would love to go back, I wouldn't trade it for the world. It lead me to cheering, ballroom dancing, and many other things that I would never have thought of trying. Plus, I like to think that when people see that I'm still able to remain active with the diseases that I have, it gives them the courage to be active as well.