Softball is many things. Today, softball is a traffic jam.

As I drove into the city, I got caught, as I usually do, in the immensely frustrating, immensely patience-testing, immensely impossible-to-avoid traffic jam merging onto Lake Shore Drive.

I knew where my destination was. I had driven this same route countless times. In fact, I could drive it in my sleep. To be honest, I probably have at times. Needless to say, something had gotten in my way. Something stopped me. Something, in that moment, I felt powerless to control.

In softball, I had a similar experience.

I had just recovered from an injury to my wrist, so I couldn’t swing a bat like I had in the past. Today was one of my first days back to work. I knew the route perfectly. Start with my feet a little further than shoulder-width apart, lift my bat off my shoulder, transfer weight to my back leg, drop my front heel as I opened my hips, drive my hands through the zone (palm up/palm down of course), connect, power v to follow through, and I’m home free. I had driven this route countless times.

Today, I hit a traffic jam. The first part of my trip was clear. Feet shoulder-width apart, lift my bat off my shoulder. Then, out of nowhere, someone hits the breaks. I come to a screeching halt, barely avoiding the taillights shouting at me to stop, red with fury.

I didn’t know what to do. I had swung a bat consistently for nearly 18 years, I had driven the same route day after day, but today, I didn’t know what to do. I was stuck in traffic.

When I was in the traffic jam on Lake Shore Drive, I responded with slight road rage. That’s my response on the road.

On this road, the only thing I could think to do in traffic was cry.

I looked at my teammate, completely frozen, brake lights glaring, and said simply, “I don’t know what to do next.”

In my entire career, I had never experienced as serious of a traffic jam as the one I ran into that day. Fortunately, like all traffic jams, traffic finally waned, and my route cleared up.

I’ll never forget that feeling, but it’s important to remember that traffic jams happen in life as well. I found my way home that day, and I know I can do it again.

Softball is many things. Today, softball is a traffic jam.

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6 thoughts on “Softball is a Traffic Jam

  1. It is interesting how you can compare everything to softball- it has taught you many things. I HATE traffic jams and there are so many here. It is one of the reasons I do not drive here- it would simply make me too angry. I work only 6 km away from work and at times it can take 1 1/2 hours. Keep slicing:)

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  2. Your extended metaphor continues to amaze me. I love how it has helped me see things in a way I never expected. Thank you for your gift of writing! It is priceless!

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  3. Love this one, too!

    As I’m coming to understand more and more each day how much you love softball and what an important part of your life it was, I can only imagine the frustration at not being able to do something that once came so naturally to you. Tears seem like the perfect response.

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