"HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS"
As a child, I remember running through the metal bleachers during the my dads baseball practices. When it rained, we went into the middle school gym and weight room. It had a smell that I will never forget. Although I was only 7 or 8, it was fun running around while he was at practice. Knowing that I was with him was all that mattered.
As I got older, softball became our focus. Weekend tournaments, t-shirts, early morning games, Sunday night cookouts, pitching lessons, the lists goes on. My dad always laid out my uniform, folded perfectly and had breakfast to go! It was the best time in my life.
High School came, college went, we grew older. Softball remained a constant in our life. It was our outlet in life through all of the changes around us. Nothing ever stays the same. Softball became more about facing challenges, experiencing failure, becoming stronger, gaining confidence within and toughening up mentally. Things that I was facing on the field were the same things I was experiencing off the field. I began to realize that life is just like softball....
It doesn't matter the wins or loses. What matters is that you gave 110%. You aren't afraid to fail. You are resilient. You keep going! There are always going to be successes and failures, both on and off the field. It matters how you handle each situation that you are faced with.
My father always taught me to love what you do, no matter what. I remember sitting with him in his office (I was about 12) at his school talking about life and why he never misses school days teaching. His response, "I've never NOT wanted to come to work", "If you love what you do, it's not work". I thought about that one long and hard. I wanted to do that! I wanted to find a job, that wasn't work.
In 2009, my father and I started the Lady Sting Softball Program where our goal was to give players the opportunity to play in a more competitive atmosphere while learning and having fun! Buddy Carlson, was our first Lady Sting softball coach and he set the path for where we are today!
I love you, dad, for making me the person and coach I am today. I couldn't have asked for a better role model. You've guided me every step of the way and never left my side. You always believed in me, even when I had doubts. Thank you for teaching me the game and learning to play with respect and class from such a young age. Thank you for keeping the game fun. I have taken what you have taught me, throughout my life, and continue to live and coach through your legacy.