Monday, April 24, 2006


No poker.

The girls each had their first softball tournaments this weekend but didn’t come out of it completely unscathed. The only real incident was with L who had an injury.

With L it all really started at practice on Saturday. She slid into second base and received a nice strawberry on her backside for her effort. Fast forward to our second game Sunday when she was thrown out trying to advance on a pass ball. She had to slide again and created a brand new strawberry just below here knee. Now we had talked about getting her a sliding pad but she felt she didn’t need it. That was my mistake in that I should have made her get it. Anyway, she went out to pitch the next inning, limping all the way to the pitching rubber, and started to warm up. She was grimacing with every throw so I went out to check on her. I could feel the pain in her eyes as she tried to battle through what was obviously an agonizing injury. She insisted on continuing but after two more warm-ups she came off the field.

As I prepared for her replacement she hobbled to the bench in excruciating pain with help from another coach. I felt honored by her misery as she apologized for being unable to continue. How can she feel that she let me and the team down while she thrashed painfully on the bench? I am proud of her and her commitment. As I inspect the softball sized abrasion induced by hustle and determination I explained that we needed to clean it out and that it will hurt, and hurt bad. Her face contorted as we poured the ice-cold water over her throbbing and mutilated skin. Tears welled into my parental eyes as her discomfort reached my heart. It wasn’t fair that this happened when she was doing my bidding. The counsel I give to her should not afflict her with pain.

So we get her all cleaned up and elevate her leg when she informs me that she thinks she can play. What? Did I hear that correct? ”It’s feeling better so I’d like to go pitch.” She said to my astonishment. I made her do some flexing and some running and then asked her this question. “Do you think that you will hurt your self further or hurt the team if you go out and play?” She answered, “No, I’m ready to go”. So with a bandage on her leg and a determination of three people she finished the game playing third base. Her father’s daughter.

Our last game of the day saw her back on the mound throwing the ball like she was ment to do it. I could see that it still hurt but her pride and determination would not allow her to give into something that was only a flesh wound.

By the time we got home that night and the adrenaline had worn off she could hardly walk. In all of my years I don’t think I’ve had a strawberry as bad as the one she has now. She soaked it in the tub moaning as the water seeped into the earth-ravaged skin on her body.

Today she had the joy of getting braces on her teeth.

Braces had to be easy compared to yesterday.

Every thing else went well yesterday. Both L and M had the privilege of playing against elite teams and having there lunch taken from them by the bully. As first year teams we weren’t sure how far their teams had to go to become competitive. We now know that the need a lot of improvement. All in all, I think all of the players from both of their teams were improved by the weekend. For the most part they were caught off guard by the speed of the game but that by the time they started the last game, they were making adjustments. As long as they are having fun and improving I'm happy.

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