She stood in the batter’s box not knowing what to expect. It was just a practice, not a game, so there was no reason for the shake in her nerves. But staring ahead she was facing her teammate/pitcher who was highly feared throughout the league. Feared for the blazing speed in which she hummed the ball in this 11 year old girls fast pitch softball league(surely faster than any other 11 year old girl in the world), but feared just as equally for her propensity to throw the ball at your head rather than the catcher’s mitt. Some moments she was wild, others she was brilliant, a thing of sheer beauty. I challenge most men to hit the good pitches, but it was literally a moment by moment, pitch by pitch thing. That’s what brought the fear to the batters. They never knew what to expect and how can you settle into the batter’s box with that type of tension? And they knew that if they got hit by the pitch, it would hurt. Fast and wild…a dangerous and lethal mix. But back to the nervous batter in the batter’s box, my daughter, Shelby…no softball slouch in her own right. The first pitch came and smack, squared in her side. Shelby winced for a second, laughed it off and picked the ball up and threw it back to her teammate. She moves back into the batter’s box. The second pitch…bazinga, smacks her on the side of her left leg. Shelby hops around a bit, laughs as she always does and throws the ball back again. Without hesitation, she climbs back into the box and readies herself for another pitch. Another smack, somewhere on her body, I can’t remember. She got hit a couple more times, but each time she got back in the box and took her chances and her swings because eventually the brilliant pitches did come and Shelby whiffed…just like everyone else. No matter. She had already proved herself to me, her coaches and her teammates. She’s tough. Sure, maybe scared, but she’s not letting that stop her and she’s not letting the pounding keep her down. She dusts off her pants, gets her feet planted and stares down her foe for another round. She may get hurt and she may get beat, but not without a fight. She’ll go down swinging. Is there a lesson for all of us in this story?