When it Rains, It Pours… but there’s always Rainbows

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 | 8 Comments

When it Rains, it Pours…. But then there’s a Rainbow

Well the last few months of 2013 certainly have been up and down for me. Sometimes I feel like there are more rainstorms, but I guess that’s part of life and growing up. Good news is, I am still standing, so is my home, and in a few weeks, I’ll be back on both feet, literally!

 This summer encompassed the most amazing times and also the lowest times I have experienced.

As many of you know, I had 2 puppies that I loved dearly. Moses was a 2 year old chocolate lab I rescued from the Bastrop Animal Shelter. He was a HUGE boy, but loved life and me unconditionally. He would run around, then literally flop on the floor or on my legs in bed. He would snuggle up next to my head every morning, and he never let me leave the house without watching out the window. He was amazing. In only a short year and a few months, I couldn’t imagine life without him, which made my decision to take him with me to Florida.


I also have Ember, who is actually younger than Mo. I got her from a foster home when the fires swept through Central Texas 2 years ago. She is loving an energetic too, but more self sufficient, so she wasn’t as nearly as cuddly as Mo. I still loved her the same. We run together, and sit out on the deck in the mornings or evenings.

I don’t need to recap what happened, as many of you followed on Twitter and Facebook, but needless to say, I lost Moses and Ember was missing. I know it’s not the same as losing a person, but to me it was. He was my best friend.  He was my baby boy. When I got the news I lost it. I was up until 3am crying uncontrollably. Thankfully I have amazing teammates and friends who were there to try and console me while we were still on the road.  The next day, I was slated to start, and even though I had an awful night, I toed the rubber and tried to let softball be my escape. I can admit for one of the very few times I can remember it was almost impossible to stay focused on the task at hand. But again, my teammates were behind me. It wasn’t a pretty game, but it was a win, and I made sure everyone knew how much I appreciated them keeping me in the game, and having my back.

For 9 days I held on to hope that Ember would turn up. We would search for her before and after practice. The Chicago Bandits came to town, and a number of them were even offering to help me go in search of her. I think that is one thing overlooked in professional sports sometimes. There is a bond we all share, and regardless if we actually know each other well or not, we are friends.I can’t thank Wiggins, Goler, Kimi, Z, Andi, Jenna, and a few others for offering to help, and even asking around if anyone had seen her. The good karma this group brought must have helped because a day after they arrived, I got a call about 8am.  After 10 days, Ember had wandered up to a man and his puppy at an apartment complex. She has her collar and leash still intact. I don’t know where she spent her time, or how she survived the storms we had, but my baby girl was home.

It was hard watching her look for Moses and cope when she realized he wouldn’t be coming home with us. She’s is a different character now, but it’s not bad. We are happily adjusting to life back home!

There’s one rainbow after a Thunderstorm! But summer still had another rainbow to offer. After a difficult 2012 season, I decided it was time to hang them up. It was a hard decision, and I shook uncontrollably when I wrote the email to let me teammates know. I was excited for my final season, and then the doubts started looming. I don’t know what caused the change, but in short, I fell in love with this game all over again this summer. I couldn’t imagine watching these games next summer, fighting the urge to fly out and spend time with my 2nd family.  I have no idea when my teammates started to think I would change my mind, but when I decided to let them know I wouldn’t be hanging it up, I was presented with a Brett Favre autographed picture and laughs. I’m excited to keep playing, and will take it day by day. I know there will be an end at some point, I am just not sure when that is.

Of course summer ended as great as it could. We lost the regular season championship on the last night of season. That loss sat within me for a while, but not in a bad way. I wanted to think it through, let it motivate me, and more importantly figure out what it was that hindered me from throwing as w

ell as I knew I could have. Our team was a true team all summer. It felt different to me than summers past. We were all in it together, even if outsiders don’t see it that way. We knew we had the longer route in playoffs than Chicago, but we were up for the challenge. Each game was nail biting. That weekend was the best softball competition I have seen in a while. Every game was exciting and close. ESPN captured a few of them, but it was one of those weekends where the whole world needed to our sport in one of its finest moments. DVR is a wonderful thing because I watched our final game over and over for a while. I still get chills.

Summer ended, and I returned right back to work. Literally, I unpacked my car and an hour later was in the office! St Edwards is home to me now, and I am happy there. My athletes are a great group, and they inspire

IMG_5411me to bring the best I can every day to them. I don’t hesitate to get back to work with them, ever.

There have been some exciting post summer happenings. I was fortunate enough to spend a day in Houston with the Astros. I took the Houston RBI Softball team shopping at Academy! I answered questions for a lot of youth softball players, I got to meet Jason Castro, received my own jersey, and threw out the first pitch! Oh, and Orbit even made out with me! 😉

I had hip surgery almost two weeks ago. It was something I knew would probably happen, but it was a whirlwind scheduling it. When the best hip doc in the country says he can fit you in, you go! I spent a week in Vail, but don’t think it was exciting! It was pretty to see the fall colors and a little snow, but being laid up makes it less enjoyable. I am recovering well from that! No worries, I’ll be good to go!

The final excitement was last Thursday. I returned home from Vail to coach my girls in their first fall game. We were playing at UT, which is always nice because Lindsay and I both graduated from there, and their fans always welcome us back warmly. Our girls were ready to play. It was exciting to watch. We made some great defensive plays (the #2 play of the day on SportsCenter) and my pitchers threw about as good as I could have imagined. We left with a 6-1 win and some confidence to carry with us for the rest of the fall and come February.

Fall is in full swing. I can’t imagine my life being any less busy! Between my hip, work, masters classes, clinics etc etc etc…. I’m loving it!

  • Shannon Roberts

    I must have missed the story about you losing Mo, but I do understand the bond we have with our pets. It is indescribable to those who don’t have that bond. I pray for healing for you and look forward to next season to get to see you play again. I only hope I can see you play in person before you do retire after watching on TV for all these years. Good Luck!

  • Howard Culbertson

    I am waiting for my rainbow. I have not been able to pitch due to 3 disks in my back. My next win will give me a win in 7 different decades. I’m known as Sam with 40 speeds of slow. At your age, I don’t know why you want to retire. I watch all your televised games.

  • Bill Christensen

    Thank you for this inside view of a once in a lifetime summer of a legendary athlete and an even better person going through challenges and victories!

  • James Hutch Manning

    Take care of yourself. we love to watch you pitch!!!

  • Courtney Wheat

    Your an amazing lady.. I envy that u get to do what u love… The day i quit was the worst mistake i ever made… I always think what coulda been… Maybe id be next to u on the field.. Who knows.. I just want u to know ur an amazing pitcher.. Enjoy the life you have id do anything to be in ur position…

  • Brian Van Dusen

    I’m so, so sorry to hear about your dog, Mo, :-<<. I have a tiny chihuahua / rat terrier that I found severely beaten and tied up behind the building where I used to work 8 years ago. I still wish so badly that I knew who did that to her for reasons I won't mention. She is absolutely the most precious thing in the whole world, which is why I named her Princess Catherine, after you, Anyways, it’s good to see you’re doing well and are still as beautiful as ever. You’ll never know how many different people’s lives you’ve touched, not just little girls who like softball. Best of luck to you in all of your future endeavors, Cat!! ;->>>

  • Jeff Mcintosh

    I am sorry to hear about your dog. You are an amazing person! I really enjoyed watching you pitch. Thanks for your contribution to the Olympic team. You are extremely beautiful inside and out!

  • ronald j.f. panlilio

    Pets can be noble companions, I have found them to be very good for my own life as well. Funny when I was younger I never really understood how to lead a puppy or a dog. But after watching the dog whisperer shows, I understand that the people are supposed to lead their noble companions and not the other way around. Our pets sometimes make funny noises when they hear stuff around the house, and it makes me giggle because they sound like young children or like chewbacca from star wars. I often wonder if pets pick up on our body language the way people do. I am glad you eventually went back to coaching and playing with NPF again. All the best this summer, Hopefully we can meet up to play catch one of these days, or maybe softball with friends. I sent you 2 emails about a project I am working on as well one to this page, and also to your champions village site. All the best, Trust in Peace, Tranquility, Providence, and Salvation because of Penitent Prayers. Glad that your Hip was able to be surgically repaired:b