Friday, May 5, 2017

First Pitch

I got a call yesterday that I could never have imagined... Coach Hadra invited me to throw out the first pitch at tonight's VMI baseball game. The Southern Conference is supporting Pete Frates' Strike Out ALS in all their games this weekend; I even got a mention in the press release.

May is ALS Awareness month, and I have been trying to figure out what to say. It deserves more than one post, so tonight it'll be the dichotomy that ALS brought into my life.

I know this is a theme through so many of my posts and Tony's. ALS gave me some of the worst moments in my life, and also some of the best. I continue to drone on about it because it has been the most unexpected part. And it's also where the greatest lesson lies.

The best moments in life often come out of nowhere. (Of course, so do the worst moments.) As I said, I never imagined in a million years I'd ever get to throw the first pitch at a baseball game. I jumped at the opportunity. It was beautiful evening at the stadium, and Coach Hadra and the team gave the girls and me a wonderful welcome. We hadn't met before, but he spent one year at VMI with Tony and we had a good chat during warm-ups. He even coached me through a few practice pitches.

Take us out to the ballgame
A little while later, I was headed out to the mound (technically the area right in front of the mound) and the girls were in the dugout cheering me on. I said a little thank you to Tony on the way, because I certainly wouldn't have been there without him. And then...



I'm pretty chuffed with myself. 

We stayed through the first three innings, saw three VMI home runs, and left with the Keydets comfortably in the lead. We drove home telling stories and cranking tunes with the wind in our hair. It was a golden evening. 

There is a much more famous widow telling people these days to "lean in to the suck." She's right. The "suck" sucks... but it can also lead you to moments bathed in pure joy. Embrace them both because it's all you've got. 

A huge thanks to Coach Hadra, Corey Bachman, the VMI Baseball players (I relished those high fives), and my small cheering section. It's a night I'll never forget!