Archives For Pride

Bragging and baseball

April 5, 2012

I conquered my first unassisted pull-up earlier this week. It was one of the goals I set for myself about a month ago.

Boo ya.

Today I did a couple more just to prove the first one wasn’t a fluke. Now I can casually say with confidence, “Who me? Yeah, I can totally do a pull-up.” It doesn’t seem like the hugest deal in the world, I know. But, it is big for me.

It felt fantastic to hoist my chin up over that bar for the first time with no help.

Even more rewarding than achieving my own success was watching my two boys start baseball season. My 8-year old is just getting his feet wet in somewhat competitive ball. Prior to this year, the only pitching he faced was dished up by his coach.

Now he’s facing boys his own age hurling strikes at him faster than he can blink an eye.

I've told my 8-year old the chances of him actually making contact with the ball will increase as soon as he stops watching his dad snap pictures of him through the fence.

My 10-year old has a couple of competitive seasons under his belt and he is really starting to come into his own. Tonight he allowed only one run while on the mound and hit back-to-back triples. I told him to bask in the glory while it lasted because you can be on top of the world one day, and cause an error to let your team down the next.

That is what I love about the game of baseball and why I miss playing fast pitch softball. Each pitch and swing of the bat is so meticulously planned and the really good players make it all look so effortless.

For those who have never played or coached the game, these sports can seem incredibly slow and dull. However, there is so much strategy and heart that goes into every inning. My son was able to feel on top of the world earlier this evening because 11 of his buddies backed him up, knocked down balls, hustled their hardest, and rallied from behind to pull off a win. The camaraderie experienced on the ball diamond is like nothing else I’ve experienced in life.

When else in sports are you willing to put yourself at risk of getting drilled by a hard non-inflated object on both offense and defense in an all-out effort to help your team succeed? I’m not saying it’s the hardest sport in the world (after all, I’ve never played football, hockey, or fought in a cage), but I would argue that hitting a moving baseball IS one of the hardest skills in sports.

Baseball is a game of child’s play. No matter how old the athlete, when downpour and lightning cause rain delays, you are bound to see a ball player sliding across the tarp-covered field. Cheeks are both smeared with eye black and stuffed to capacity with sunflower seeds. Kids show up in flocks for the chance to catch a coveted fly ball. And moms can barely contain their excitement and pride from tee ball through the major leagues.

I’ll be enjoying America’s past-time this summer and I hope you enjoy the warmer months too.

And it's ONE, TWO, THREE kids we're off to the ol' ball game!

My 10-year old south paw pitching.

My 3-year old occupying herself during the game. Disclaimer: The boys were between innings. I yanked her off the fence the moment a batter approached the plate.

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Before I was a mom of three, I never knew what it was like to raise a little girl. I never had to guess what mood any member of my family was in because, before I was a mom of three, we all pretty much knew how to read one another. I never realized how fun it was to paint little toe nails. It’s an experience far more enjoyable than painting my own.

Before I was a mom of two, I never thought it was possible to give my love and devotion to anyone other than my precious first-born son. Before I laid eyes on my second son, I never knew what it was like to have a cuddly boy whose sole existence, it seems, is to make sure his mom is happy. I never realized my heart could swell to the point of bursting until he showed me what it means to give without expecting anything in return.

Before I was a mom of one, I didn’t know it was possible to actually be in awe of a child. I knew parents could be proud, but to feel a sense of awe is different. Before my oldest even took in his first breath, I never knew that God could intentionally give us our children in the exact order we need them. To bless us with a confident kid who helps us along the way and serves as a role model during times when we fall short.

Before having three children, I had two dogs. One passed and left me wondering why on earth we allow ourselves to own pets only to see them die before us. The other reminds me daily why we make that choice and never regret doing so.

Before I was a mom, I was a wife. I loved my husband and took the time to show him. I soaked in his strength and felt protected. I told him I would stand by him even if we led each other astray. I put my faith in him and not once has he let me down. I’ve seen him positively guide and discipline not only our own kids, but other youth as well. I know he loves me and would do anything to make me happy.

Before my husband stole my heart, I was a student and an athlete. The minute I knew what it felt like to be recognized for being good, I never felt pressured to be bad. I was complimented for being a leader and I never took that responsibility for granted. If I can leave this earth knowing I’ve impacted someone’s life for the better, I will feel fulfilled at the end of my days.

Before I was a student and an athlete, I was a girl who was loved and supported by her family. I did not need to be surrounded by material things to know my life was rich. What I didn’t recognize then was that the collective sacrifices of so many would help shape the person I am today.

Who were you before the person you are now?

I got my backside into gear a couple years ago and started working out fairly consistently. Up to that point, people who bragged about their fitness regimens annoyed me…especially when it was on Facebook.

At one point, I actually updated my own status to read, “I am getting tired of hearing how healthy everyone is. Tonight, I wanted to let you all know I drove to a movie theater, bought buttered popcorn, and never stepped foot into the theater.”

Yeah. That showed them.

I’m proud to announce I’ve done a complete 180. I am now that annoying person who loves to talk about my workouts. You can choose to “x” out of this blog right now. I won’t be offended.

(OK, have the slackers left yet?)

Have the rest of you heard of Crossfit? The program is totally nuts and I would never subject myself to this sort of pain if left to my own individual choosing. However, after watching a group of my coworkers workout for a couple of months together, my competitive nature kicked into full swing.

I needed IN.

Now we have formed a crazy Crossfit family. We’ve suffered together, shared goals, and are determined to help push each other to extreme levels.

If you are looking for a challenge or just want to mix up your workout routine (I need this in the colder months when I can’t get outside because I have a hate/hate relationship with the treadmill), I encourage you to check out Crossfit.

Their website posts a new Workout of the Day (WOD) every 24 hours so you never perform the same moves back-to-back. I rarely understand what the workouts are based on description alone so I reference the online videos to learn proper technique.

Thanks to my new gym rat support group, I hope to lose 10 pounds and conquer at least one unaided pull-up by May 6, which is also the day I will run Lincoln Half Marathon. Enjoy the pics.

Getting ready to do sets of box jumps.

Feeling pretty good about myself.

Until I witness this freak of nature.

I increased the height of my own stack after watching him.

The more I lose, the easier this will get.

Right now, I am having 50 lbs of weighted assistance.

Not only do the guys make this look easy, they widen their grip to make it harder.

My badge of honor.