I just realized that I learned 5 things that softball taught me about the great outdoors.
I thought about these things as I sat on the bleachers, watching the team that The WON sponsored this year, coached by our own Marti Davis. The Purple Cobras ranged in age from 9 to 12, and reminded me of days long ago, when I nervously went up to bat on a ball field in Montana.
Sure, I went on to find other sports – such as volleyball, long-distance running and tennis – that I competed in throughout high school and college. But softball? As my first sport, it taught me grit at an early age and laid the foundation for success later in the outdoors.
Patience is a virtue. When you’re in right field, you rarely get to play, but you must be aware at all times. The ball – like a whitetail – will come your way some day.
Practice makes perfect. Whether it’s a bow or a gun or a slingshot, you must practice. Just like with throwing, grounding balls and hitting.
You will get hurt. Yes, playing softball hurts if the ball rolls up to your ungloved hand and sprains your finger. Expect the unexpected, and know that you will get hurt while pursuing your outdoor adventures. Sprains, strains, breaks – all become real-life happenings when you’re moving fast to get to that tom you hear over yonder and you fall.
When you fall down, get up. So, you missed the shot or the weather forced you to cancel. Revisit #2, shake it off, get back out there. My dad, a football coach, always told me, “No pain, no gain, kid.”
Camaraderie counts. Just like the sisterhood that evolves from being on any team, you also will find a sisterhood among outdoor enthusiasts. Embrace it. Trust your team.
This retro WON was first published July 10, 2014. The WON continues to sponsor the Purple Cobras this year, and Marti Davis is their coach again!