Conquering My Fears

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I started the pendulum motion of my arm, brought it forward, and released my grip on the ball. I watched as the ball crossed the plane of the plate, and tried to slow down the beat of my heart. The umpire yelled a loud, reverberating, " Ball four! Take your base!" The beat of my heart had not only slowed down, it had completely stopped.

As I stood motionless, I heard the voice of the opposing coach, " I told you she wouldn't throw strikes." When I finally realized what had happened, my heart plummeted down to my gut and disbelief filled me. I had walked in the tying run, and now I had walked in the winning run. As I walked to the sideline, the depths of defeat engulfed me. At that point, I understood what the agony of defeat meant.

When I finally surfaced from the depths, I found myself riding in my dad's truck. I looked over at my dad, and tried to get up the courage to talk to him. I had never really had any trouble talking to him before, but there seemed to be an impassable waterway between us now. Before I could say anything, he said my name. I turned to him and replied, " Yeah?" My dad paused a moment and agonizingly said,

" Do I put too much pressure on you?" We had met the waterway head on, and it was my decision to plunge in or avoid the obstacle.

With great deliberation, I answered, " Yeah, sometimes." What followed was a conversation that changed my relationship with my dad forever. When the conversation was over, I knew two things for certain: my dad loved me, and no matter how many people I struck out or walked, he was going to be there for me. By the time we reached home, a sense of peace flooded over me. Along with the peace came a strong conviction that overwhelmed me. I realized tha...

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...d my adrenaline pushed me to continue on.

The score was 9-7, in our favor, with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and there were two runners on. Sweat was dripping down my face, and my heart was racing. I started the pendulum motion of my arm, brought my arm forward, and released my grip on the ball. The bat met the ball and the ball was lofted into the air. Our first baseman, Sherri Muncie, planted herself beneath the ball, raised her mitt, and caught the ball. In unison, the team let out a loud, reverberating yell of triumph. We all raced to our water cooler and ran after my dad. A torrent of water flooded over him, and the victory was complete. We had risen from the depths of defeat, conquered our opponents, and were the victors of the day. For me, the victory was a conquering of my own fears and the gain of a sense of confidence in myself.
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