It’s been too long... way too long!
2020 came, and boy has it made its presence. Let’s recap January-March before we get to our current situation. January meant I scaled back to part time at Texas State, which took me off the field, and handling the logistics of their travel and meals. This was necessary for me to be able to train myself, as well as, give the program the ability to let Paige McDuffee (UCLA product) take over the pitching coach duties for the year. The end of January saw RBI host its annual banquet, and raise more funds than we ever have! It’s always a fun night to see so many University of Texas graduates, but it’s also exciting to see how much we raise and know more and more kids are going to get to experience all that RBI Austin offers and grow within our program.
After celebrating RBI, I was up and off to Florida the next morning. I met up with the team in Florida, and began training for what was our goal of the 2020 Olympics. We spent approximately 10 days practicing, sometimes twice a day, while lifting and conditioning. It was hard work, but from experience, I know these are the moments we remember and grow together.
Our first leg was 26 straight days on the road. We played 8 games in Florida, before heading to Arizona and then Palm Springs, CA. Each day we were getting better and better. Each game out someone was progressing with their game, and it was fun to see and be part of. Personally, I enjoyed playing against my Bobcats of Texas State! It was such a mental test, because they cheered for every foul ball, every ball they watched and contact made. By far, that is the best energy I have seen out of them, and I told them as much after the game. When you can compete with that energy consistently, big things are in store!
Leg number two of the Stand Behind Her tour was cut short. We played a double header in Irvine before being rained out in Santee. After that, we suspended tour due to COVID-19, which brings us to the current state of affairs.
I have been home since March 12th, and preparing for the news we got this week. A postponement of the Olympic Games was inevitable. We don’t know how safe it would be, even in 4 months. Also, so much training is being impacted by the closures and shelter in place procedures. You have to think about all the sports, all the countries… and this is the best solution. I’ve done quite a few interviews on this throughout this week, so you can find more information on my thoughts via the lovely internet.
These times we are in are unprecedented. It’s new, different, frustrating, boring and challenging… for all of us. No one is alone in what you are feeling. I have had to get used to a new normal too. I can only workout so much, therefore many hours of my day are left wondering what to do. I urge you to be active each day, even if it’s just a walk, pick up that book you’ve always wanted to read or give a go at that hobby that has always sounded fun to try. While we have the time, get that “honey do” list done. Personally, I am trying to finish the first Game of Thrones book, while starting to plan my Softball School lesson for April 23rd. We will finally hang movie posters and my many Wonder Woman pieces up in the media room tomorrow. Last night, we even enjoyed dinner outside on our patio for the first time. Why does it take us being quarantined (so to speak) to do enjoyable things? Because we get too busy, too consumed… now is a time to slow down, smell the roses, and remember the simpler things that make life great.
Tuesday I had the privilege to jump in a morning Bible study via Zoom and share a short version of my testimony and share how my faith and God are leading me right now through this time. It was the first time outside of an RBI event, that I have ever “talked Faith” with a group, and I loved every second of it. My energy and passion grew the more I spoke! It was such an incredibly fulfilling feeling to share His message with others.
I have used Zoom more in the last week than ever in my life!! It is an easy way to connect though. From my Team USA teammates to some of my Texas State players to my fellow coaches, I have gotten to see everyone’s faces, and that makes my heart happy.
The future is uncertain, but that is ok! It’s always uncertain if you think about it. Keep your head up. Keep working toward something. Most importantly keep perspective and help others if you can! Go grocery shopping for someone or donate to your local food bank if you can.
Until next time…. Keep the faith and keep perspective!