What It's Like To Love A Sport You Never Had A Chance At.

What It's Like To Love A Sport You Never Had A Chance At.

I would have to say this is probably one of the greatest pains you'll ever feel.
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There are so many kids all around the world how have one sport. One sport that no matter what they will always love will always remember, and will always have memories of. There are also many kids around the world who love this sport so much and they would do anything to play, but sometimes they’re just never given that opportunity.

For me, my sport was softball. Ever since I was seven years old I had a burning passion for it. It was the only thing that I spent my summer doing because all of my friends played in a summer league in my small town.

Pitching was something I absolutely loved to do. If I wasn’t pitching, then I was playing shortstop. Every day I had the chance when my dad was home I would make him go out in the front yard with me and just constantly work on my pitching. I was determined, I was full of fire, and I was let down majorly ever since I can remember. I worked hard, really hard. You can ask my parents. But no matter how hard I worked, it was never good enough. There was always someone better than me. But this fact never discouraged me and it only caused me to work harder.

As I started getting older, I started to realize that I was only used when there was nobody else. I was literally the last option. I never really gained much experience on the field, and because of that I would freeze up, or I would get frustrated. It honestly didn’t matter how good I did or not, to them, I was just a backup, somebody to use because they had nobody else. I just couldn't help but feel like everybody felt sorry for me, or that there were people who laughed at me. I felt like the other parents felt sorry for me because I just came in when we were ahead by a lot or when we were playing a B-game. I was embarrassed a lot of the time even saying I played softball, or talking about the sport to the baseball boys who started, or anybody for that matter. I just felt like a failure.

My ninth grade year my high school team had made it to regionals. I was put into pitch and I was so excited, I came in and did exactly what I had to do. And you want to know the only thing I remember hearing? “Alright, she got us out of that inning, put so and so back in”. It was like I did so good, I was so excited but it still wasn’t good enough, and this put me right back to feeling like a failure. Thankfully my mom and dad were there to tell me how amazing I did and encouraged me still.

See, the thing with sports is that it teaches children valuable lessons. It teaches them hard work and determination. Along with others like teamwork, friendship, etc. But when you don’t know how to show a child those things by giving them experience, if they continue the sport, they have nothing. Why would they put in all of this hard work and be so determined to do all of these things to become better when it never matters?

For me, switch-hitting was a thing my last year I played. Coach liked to pull it so much, and he tried getting everybody to do it. But I just decided I wasn’t going to mess with it, I just switched batting sides. I went from a righty to a lefty. I worked so hard on that too, because it’s a whole new thing, switching sides like that and strengthening muscles you usually don’t use. The coach that helped me do it helped my find my love and passion for the game again right when I thought I had lost it. But then reality would hit every softball practice I attended and I was never worked with fundamentally. I was just a second stringer who never got any experience and sat on the fence while others got their practice in. And then just like that in the snap of a finger, my love was gone.

Even though I had gone through all of that trouble, none of it mattered. Because I was never given a chance. Not in high school ball, not in little league, traveling teams, nothing. Maybe I actually just wasn’t good enough, that’s fine. But I loved the game, and I was never given a fair shot.

So to people who coach, please take the time to talk with kids. Make them feel like you actually care about them and know they exist. Play them because they deserve to play, not just because you need to play them due to having nobody else. Give them advice, give them life lessons, help them work on their skills to better themselves because that will help way more than you ever know. Don’t make them feel unimportant. It happened to me my whole life and because of that, my love for the game is gone. Love them, encourage them, and always reassure them because kids starting out in sports need that. If they don’t get it then they end up like I was in high school… feeling like a failure and never good enough for anything.



Cover Image Credit: http://www.pixelstalk.net/softball-wallpapers-hd/

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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10 Things I Will Always Miss About High School

High School truly is the glory days.

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It's been 5 years now since I graduated from Beauregard High School. That's crazy to me! I wish all the time I could go back. There are plenty of great memories I have. As for you kids still in high school, your gonna wish you could go back no matter how much you want out of that hell hole.

Trust me, my high school was a hellhole but the greatest place at the same time.

1. Life was simple

All you had to do was show up, hang out, and do some class work and boom you're done. No dealing with bills, no paying for an apartment or house, no having to get a full-time job or having to do crazy college assignments or clinical.

2. You got to see friends everyday

I was told by one of my best friends that graduated two years before I did that once me and a couple other guys graduate, it's all gonna change. It definitely did. You don't see your school friends every day and you don't see your best friends as often. I moved away for college and another one of our best friends moved away for work. We see each other and have great times still. Then I see high school buddies whenever I'm around town and catch up some but it's just not the same.

3. The teachers

Yes, I said it. You will miss the teachers. You'll miss the fun teachers and the hard teachers. I had teachers who had daughters in the class under me and they were some of my best teachers along with my coaches. One teacher I remember everyone hated but I loved him, even though he was a hard history teacher. He was just challenging us to do a better job and I thank him still for that.

4. Shop

This won't hit the girls as much as the guys but the shop was where it was at. Crazy ass things happened in there from rebuilding an engine, catching on fire welding, or frying some chicken/grilling steak in the middle of the shop. I believe every guy should take shop and enjoy it and I bet you'll miss it. I saw a buddy I had shop classes off and on with all four years the other day and had a great time catching up talking about the fun times.

5. Sports

Whether you played sports or watched the games you'll miss it. Being under the lights on Friday night or being on the diamond is a great feeling until the day you end up on the sideline or the dugout coaching. For others, it's cheering on your friends and classmates. It just feels different when you see these people in class or the hallway every day and then see them play a big game.

6. Pep Rally’s 

I know some people hated pep rally's and wouldn't show but for others, it was a great time to go bat shit crazy at school. I loved pep rally's and even won most school spirit senior year by wearing some crazy outfits and painting myself crazy colors.

7. Homecoming week

For my school, homecoming week gave us a week to dress up as crazy as possible. I won one day every year. The unfortunate part is I could've won more but the most we could win was one day a week. Then there were the homecoming pep rally games. I'm a big guy — 6'6", 280 lbs — so I was always put in the tug of war and typically held my own.

8. The lunches

Yes, everyone's favorite period. The tables where the real shit happens. The food wasn't all that great except pizza day. But getting to eat lunch with friends every day was great. Then there was the sneaking to the gas station right down the street and hoping you don't get caught.

9. The principal 

At my school, we have a principal who's been there longer than the high school itself. Ole Dickie Brown has either coached or been principal of everyone's parents at the school. Then he loves the pep rally's more than the students and doing two bits.

10. The bus rides

For those that rode the bus once you get to high school, you're the high class back of the bus students that everyone looks up to. It's also the wildest spot on the bus.

There are many other reasons and more in-depth details on why you will miss high school but these are my top 10. My best advice is to enjoy your time in school and when you're young because it goes by quick and then life happens.

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