Note: The following blog was written by a woman in my Baseball and Statistics course. Please comment on this touching story or supply your own story of how baseball/softball changed your life.
The first time I picked up a softball was my first t-ball game. From that moment I became addicted to being on the diamond. I continued practicing and growing as a player. I was a shortstop and eventually found that my favorite spot on the field was right behind home plate. I started taking batting and catching lessons with an instructor and started to play on more and more teams.
My life was great, maybe even perfect. One night my life changed. I fell asleep at my best friend’s house. Her dad was one of my softball coaches and we’ve been best friends forever. Her family was my family and vise versa. Unfortunately I didn’t wake up where I fell asleep. A day or two later I woke up in my house extremely confused about what had happened. Sometime that night I had a seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy. I was 11 at the time. I started to learn about epilepsy and how it would affect my life. I knew things were going to change. I had to go to sleep early, take medicine every day, and I had to be more careful. I started to feel really different than the kids I went to school with. They were experiencing new things and doing normal kid things. I remember going to the town carnival and watching all my friends go on the roller coasters and the bumper cars. I watched. I started to feel like I was being forgotten about. The kids I used to hang out with would go out and I wouldn’t be invited because I wouldn’t be able to participate in all of the activities or I’d be stuck at home because I wasn’t feeling well.
After my first seizure I was supposed to go to my batting and catching lesson. I’m from Jersey and went to Teel’s Baseball. It’s well known around my area and a lot of kids go there as well. My mom called to cancel my lesson with my instructor. I knew softball was a special sport when I received a get well card from my coach. It was signed by all of the instructors at Teel’s. I have the card hanging on my wall and it means the world to me.
Softball was the one thing that made me feel normal, and my teammates became my best friends. They asked me questions to learn more about my epilepsy. I always was nervous to tell kids about it because I didn’t know how they would react. I didn’t want to be rejected. Soon I realized that the girls all accepted me for me. I knew they weren’t going to judge me and I knew they would always support me. I remember one game when it was too hot for me to catch the whole game so half way through I went to shortstop and another girl went to catch. There was a pop up and I was blinded by the sun and got hit in the head. I sat down and my coach came out to make sure I was okay. The ump yelled at me to get up and I explained to him that I was epileptic and I needed to make sure I felt ok before standing up again but he didn’t believe me despite the fact that I was wearing my medical bracelet. My team and my coach all had my back and came to my side to help me and talk to the ump. To see them come to my side like that was amazing. It made me realize I could do anything as long as I had the right people helping me. When I wasn’t with my brothers and parents, my team was my family.
To me softball is more than just a sport. It’s a way of life and the field becomes a home away from home. If you can’t call your team your family then something’s wrong. Softball was my escape; where I could forget about the struggles I was facing. I’m 20 now and I plan to coach my own team, and give individual lessons just like I received. I want to give girls a place where they will always feel welcome and accepted.
MarMar, I wrote this story and am so thankful for what you wrote in response to my story. There is so much more to it and wish I had enough space to add to what I have been put through and what softball has done to help me. I also had to make sure I didn’t overheat during my games and that’s especially hard to do as a catcher. I hope my story inspires her to keep on playing and keep on fighting what she has. I have my bad days where my epilepsy really has an effect on me but hearing from people who suffer from the same thing I do and to know that sharing my story can help someone else gain the courage to continue doing what they love makes it all worth it. It makes me realize that I was given this for a reason, and that reason is to help inspire people like your daughter, and she inspires me as well.
March 20, 2013 02:50:32
|Stan “The Stats Man” said…
Dear Marmar: Thank you for your comment about my student’s story. I hope that my student’s courage will help other children who are faced with adversity. It could be a disease or some other form of adversity. I encourage any other person who used softball/baseball to create a normal life for themselves to tell their story. Dr. Stan “The Stats Man”
March 7, 2013 05:46:13
I love your story and I commend you for never giving up on what you love. My daughter is 15 years old and was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 6. The medication she was on made her gain so much weight and ended up having to go see a cardiologist. The cardiologist said she needed exercise so we signed her up for softball at the age of 12 & she loved it! She has since changed meds and has lost 25 lbs & is very healthy & still playing what she loves… SOFTBALL! The only problem she has is when playing ball in the summer, she has to keep her body cool. I can’t wait to show her your story. I think she’s also felt different from the other girls on the team. Thank you for writing your story. 🙂
March 7, 2013 10:28:59