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I Know Me Narrative

10. When did you know you were destined for something? When you were in grade school, high school or college? It’s possible, you have not found it yet, or maybe you are like me and it was immediate. Something so built into your body, your DNA, your life that it is like the color of your hair. My focus was set early and remains clear, I am exactly who I am suppose to be. The first word for many are Mom or Dad, mine was ball. I remember seeing my cousins with a bat and ball and it was the first thing that I can remember sparking my interest. Everything about it was perfect.

I’ll never forget the day that I was given my first glove. It was small, brown, and broken in. I used to carry all of my baseball equipment with me everywhere in a small bat bag. Was I waiting for a game to break out? I’ll never be quite sure; I mean what kid does that? I did. I wanted everything to do with the game. I wanted to learn about it, live it, and have every moment be about it. It was my first love. I played catch with my Dad anytime he would let us. I had my Mom read me a book about it, until I eventually memorized the entire thing. I even added my own words to the story sometimes.

I begged to stop the car if we saw a field, just to look at it or possibly run the bases imagining hitting towering home runs to win games. I even pleaded with my parents to take me to the local high school to watch the game, just to see it in action some more. 9. There are moments in life where you remember everything, down to the smallest detail, everything is as clear as the white jerseys the players wear. I had only driven past it a few times. Taking it in all in, stopping everything I was doing and just observing it, like a moment of silence in respect for its beauty.

Just down the highway, was the old stadium, the home to our team and for the first time, me. Going to the game for the first time, I was locked in. I saw everything and didn’t have anywhere else I wanted to be. For years following that night, my Dad used to tell everyone he knew about this night. About how, I suddenly transformed into something much older than what is expected, how I sat still not bothering him for all nine innings. It was well past my bedtime, but I did not seem to notice, getting energy from the crowd, the noise, and the lights. Grass greener than the green play-doh we played with as kids.

I sat in the cheap seats, I think it rained, and I do not care if I had a hot dog or peanuts. Everything was exactly as I hoped it would be. Until that point, I had never felt the rush of being apart of something so much bigger than me. I did not know it was possible; to have so many band together, to cheer their hearts out, and enjoy the purest game I will ever know. Everything about that night will remain perfect, forever. 8. Finally, it felt like Christmas morning, with a twist. I had never felt this way about anything before. A form of happiness, while the insides of my stomach wanted to see the light of day.

Everything is twisting around like the cheesy dance moves they show at the stadium, but I’m still excited. Nervous for potential of what today holds. Once in a movie that I saw, they showed a man about to play for the Yankees, stop and stare at himself fully dressed in his uniform. Naturally, I did the same thing after putting on my uniform, pants, and matching socks. Blue, my favorite color, 9, my favorite number, pinstripes and high socks, I was ready. I always imagined this day and in reality it was so far from what I ever could have imagined. This is when I found out that the game is actually not as a simple as it appears.

In fact it is something like an onion, with layers and layers, each of which an important part of the whole thing. I imagined I would be great at this game right away. Why? Well I loved it more than anyone else, I thought that counted for something. The truth is, it does, just not more than skill. I was hitting near the bottom of the order, but I was one of the younger players. I finally had my shot to step in the box. I walk slowly staring down the pitcher, trying to imagine that he was fearful of what I could do. I took my stance, making up my own routine. The wind-up, and suddenly everything slowed down.

Stich by stich the ball rotated in. I was so nervous. Was this a strike? Damn. Hit by the pitch. I had never even thought of the possibility of that happening. I finally found out what “taking one for the team meant. ” It hurt. As the game progressed, I failed. I struck out twice and I swear I was hit in the exact same spot by another pitch. 0-2 with two strikeouts, but I guess I got on-base twice. After the game, my parents were there to greet me after I had guzzled down the team snack. “You know you are suppose to make an attempt to avoid the ball, right? ” My Dad asked half-jokingly.

It had never occurred to me that I was supposed to do this, honestly, but of course I just smile and nodded. 7. I was good. In fact I was an all-star. This was my first honor, award, or recognition that I earned. I looked ridiculous wearing teal pinstriped pants with my red all-star shirt. I was more nervous for this game than my first game. This was the best of the best. Everyone was good. I honestly do not remember much about this game. Other than the fact that I got hit in the butt with a pitch, it was a dull game. Maybe I should explain, I was watching this pitch come in from the left-handed pitcher.

It had late break going further out of the strike zone, I turned my back, trying to avoid it and pop, right off the old keister. It’s funny to me when I look back at the names on the other shirt I was given, the one with everyone’s name from my team. I remember looking back on it and noticing that for some guys, this was it. They never played again and I could never figure out why. Why do people give up things that they have talent for? 6. We moved to the big fields. I feel like I’m throwing the ball from second, I would people say as they tried to hurl their pitches in their with the same juice as before.

It’s like anything else in life, eventually the training wheels come off and you have nothing else guiding you. It is just you, it is your choice to fall or keep going. Early on this change was fun. Bigger field, more possibilities, more area to hit the ball and longer fences that provided a greater challenge. It was fun early on; the catcher’s arm usually was not strong enough to throw us out. I use to joke with the first baseman, saying, “Hey, do you dare me to steal? ” Then, players began to get bigger, faster and stronger eventually to the point where it was not so easy.

It was not as fun. Pitchers began to throw harder and harder. Who turned up the gas on the pitching machine? Suddenly the pitches actually curved, bent, and dove through the strike zone. I still managed, but many stopped, many gave it up. 5. High school, I’m already ready to beat those conference rivals. I can already feel the chills of winning a close one in the bitter freeze of early April. I had never had a try-out before. For the first time in my life, I was nervous that I would not get the chance to play. Nobody wanted to be cut, nobody every wants to be cut.

I went through the week, doing everything I could to show my skills. I knew the coach, but still I was imagining every way I would mess up and be cut. Finally, it was Friday, cut day. Just like before, twisted in knots, nervous excitement. My name was called into coaches’ office. “We just wanted to thank you for all your effort this past week. ” He went on, but this already sounded like it was headed down one path, the one nobody wants to walk down. “Which is something we want to see from you the entire year, welcome to the team! ” Why do people get joy out this? . Organized practices, every day after school.

Every day, lined up on the line, all wearing matching team gear. We were always moving, because we could always get a little bit better. It was like we were always trying to get in more work in less time. We lifted weights, we ran like animals and we did every core exercise known to man. We were going to be the best, one unit, one team. It was always the same goal every year, work hard and win the conference. We just looked like a flash mob of bright yellow that flew around that field like streaks of lightning.

We were determined; I had never been apart of any team like this one before. It was electric. We won, we lost and we praised the Lord for letting us play. We were playing the game everyday and there is not anything better than that. 3. Sometimes you have to take a step back to realize what is truly going on. It’s like a photo that becomes clearer as you step away from it. Shivering pain running through my arm, every ounce of fear within me activated. The chance to never play again was slowly creeping into my mind as a possibility, a reality.

The work it takes to get back is hard, but it was worth it. It was worth everything to get back to the thing that I loved. It is scary to make movements again that you never believed you would have the confidence to do. It is like dancing around a room of your child’s Legos in the dark, only to realize they were already cleaned up. 2. The rest of high school, the flash of college ball, and the painstakingly long bus rides of the minors. The cheesy promotions, the shift to wood bats, and the stadiums that get closer and closer to the amphitheater of purity I witnessed as a kid.

It was flying by, different hats, jerseys and teammates, but the same person and the same dream. It was a grind, but anything worth doing is. Testing everything you have, it is the ultimate challenge to stay focused, to stay hungry. 1. Right now. I looked at myself in the mirror. I’ll never forget looking at the big bold letters across my chest spelling out everything I’ve worked for to get here. It’s finally here. I was at the end of the tunnel and walking into the dugout. The tunnel was like walking through a flashback, every step closer, reminding me of another moment, another step of my journey.

Guys in the dugout were giving each other high fives and flashing smiles, another day at the office for most. The public address announcer finished and yelled the signal for us to run out. We ran out of that dugout like a glob of white glue, quickly scattering over the green of the field. We shone bright like angels as we took our positions. Everything was calm. The fans were roaring, yet I did not hear a sound. I heard nothing but the sound of the ball hitting the glove and I was back to being a little kid playing catch with my Dad.

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