“Losing is ugly. No, losing to yourselves is ugly.”
This was all that I could think of after my game today. We lost, and it was ugly. It started ugly, went through a whole hell of ugly, and we crash landed at the rancid feet of ugly. There wasn’t a single person on my squad who wasn’t biting their tongue, wasn’t tense, and wasn’t responsible.
After the very first inning, I came into the dug out and lost it. I was pissed, scared, frustrated, and most of all disappointed. I lost my head and I needed to calm down, breathe, and take responsibility. It wasn’t my place to get angry and if my team hadn’t had my back, I would have gone into the second inning still pissed and would have played even worse than I did (which was still pretty bad). I came in close to tears and immediately had a teammate on my ass telling me to get out of it. She got my head back in the right place, but I was still pissed. Four other team mates asked me if I was ok, then proceeded to (figuratively) smack me back into the game. I counted to ten, took some deep breaths, and quit playing selfish ball. They were right. Yes, I made severe errors, but I had to make up for it and I had to be strong for them, for the team, for my team. My squad.
But now that that’s out of my system, I went back and mentally reviewed the game and our situation as a whole. Biologically, we are designed to be the underdogs. We’re teenage girls. We need stickers on our foreheads that read: Caution! Contains Raging Hormones! Our brains are nowhere near fully developed. We’re just trying to make the transition from awkward teenager to mature young woman smoothly. Yes, we dwell on things, yes we overthink EVERYTHING, yes we have other things going on, yes we are a BIOLOGICALLY ENGINERED HOT MESS. No we don’t have to let today set the pace for the rest of the season. One of my coaches was painfully disappointed. But so were we. We can’t change who other people are or how they react to things, we can only control how we handle situations.
It’s not losing that’s ugly, it’s the disappointment and the dwelling on it and the not getting over it that’s ugly. We can play a damn good game and lose. That isn’t an ugly loss. Today was an ugly loss. The only thing we can do is to move on. We acted the way we did because we cared, because we got hurt, because we ARE a family. On any other team, I doubt anyone would have cared as much. If we hadn’t gotten angry over that loss, it would have meant we didn’t care. I’d rather have a coach who gets animated over a loss than not cares any day. And if we hadn’t gotten angry, frustrated, pissed, if we didn’t cry then we didn’t play with heart. Yeah we could have played with heart and played better. Losses like this prove that we do care, and that should motivate us to shape up. Look, today happened. (Take a deep breath). I love you guys. Tomorrow’s another day, another chance to get it right. Hey, why do we fall?
So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.
(Dedicated to Santa Barbara Dons Softball Varsity Squad, 2013-14)
Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.