There isn’t much to do on a 13-hour car ride back to the mountains of North Carolina. There’s nothing but open road and darkness to trigger deep thoughts and contemplation. It’s times like these when the thoughts we’ve constantly suppressed to the back of our minds seem to surface. Thirteen hours and nothing to do but think, which is something I’ve had a lot of time to do over the past 19 months.
If you’ve been keeping up with my blogs then you know I suffered a serious knee injury that has kept me off the field since 2012. But that’s all about to change. I will walk out on the field February 14 ready for the next chapter of my life, with all of its unknown and excitement. Still, there seems one question creeping in my mind during this drive – “What if I never get back the potential I had before my injury?” There’s no place to hide from the devil and his attempts to control your thoughts on open road. You’re vulnerable and easy to reach. Doubts and concerns for the game I love start to rise up more than ever before. I can give in to the evil if I want. It’s easy, requiring no fight or strong sense of self. But I won’t. I don’t need a hiding place. Equipped with my faith in God and faith in myself I will handle anything.
There are few things in life that can be compared to the feeling I have when I’m on a baseball field. And in just four weeks, I will have put all the pain behind me. The countless hours put into rehab will all be for something. The beautiful thing about all of this is that I have nothing left to prove to anyone other than myself. The sacrifices I’ve made over the last year-and-a-half were all made for this chance to play baseball again.
Throughout this entire trial, I’ve had the best supporting cast surround me. From my amazing family who has been there since the beginning, to my supportive teammates who do nothing but constantly push me to get back on the field with them. There are many people who have come and gone throughout this process but each person has had their own special effect on me throughout it all.
Athletes are forced to battle back from injuries all the time, so this whole entry might sound cliché to you but I promise it’s not. Every word written is a reflection of the thousands of emotions I have felt in the past 19 months.
I hope you all continue to follow my teammates and I as we prepare to embark on the journey that lies ahead of us. With opening day only four weeks away, there is still plenty of time to book your trip to our opening weekend at the University of Arkansas. Space and tickets are sure to be limited so get yours before they’re gone.
Playing for the dogpile.