People often speak of a defining moment in one’s life. Some of us have more than one. Sometimes we have one and we are too young or naive to realize it as it goes right over our head. I’ve had more than one in my life, but I was too young at the time to realize my first one.
It was the bottom of the 5th inning on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the 8th grade. I was up to bat, I remember it like it was yesterday, I swung so hard and I crushed the ball. It flew all the way back to the fence.
As I slid into second base for my double the second baseman slammed his foot down, steel cleats and all, right on my ankle and as I popped up with my foot still being held down I could feel the ligaments tearing. I was obviously in a lot of pain. They carried me over to the bench and put in a runner for me.
They quickly realized my ankle was broken and that I could no longer play. The problem was we were already down to 8 players, which is the minimum allowed, so my coach started to make his way over to the umpire to let him know that we forfeit the game.
I quickly jumped and yelled “I can play” and I did. They moved me over to first base and I still went up to bat. Amazingly I hit another double limping the whole way. We won the game and I was a hero… for at least a week anyway. It was in that moment that my character started to take form and start a lifelong trend of undeniable strength and determination.
That strength and determination has played a part in my life journey and my JMU experience.