Softball is many things. Today, softball is a grey crayon.

As I walked around the barren classroom at the end of the day, I happened upon a lonely grey crayon resting in the middle of the floor. It looked tired. The wrapper was peeled and faded, and the tip had been worn down to nearly nothing. Someone must have worked that poor crayon to exhaustion.

However, as I went to pick it up, I stopped myself. That crayon needed its rest. For as I looked upon this lonely, exhausted, worn-down crayon, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking, “I know how that crayon feels, because I used to be that crayon.”


In college, each year we were given free gear to start the season. Whatever we received would become a staple in our wardrobe. It would become the most definitive way to identify any athlete walking around our campus. This particular year, we received the grey jumpsuit.

The grey sweatpants were the perfect mix between baggy and fitted. It comfortably hugged my hips while allowing me the freedom to layer if I needed to. The cotton lining caressed my legs and warmed them like mittens. The grey hoodie that accompanied it wrapped me in its loving embrace. As soon as I put it on I knew that it would be with me during frigid winds as I walked across campus, it would be with me late at night as I snuggled in the covers watching Dance Moms, and it would be with me at the end of a long practice to ease the pain.

As I stood empathizing with the grey crayon in the middle of the floor, it reminded me of how I used to look at the end of a long practice. I’d change out of my stain-soaked practice clothes as multiple turf balls would fall from my pants, reminding me of the incessant diving that occurred during practice, and I’d be greeted by the cozy embrace of my grey jumpsuit.

And then I would rest, like the little grey crayon, in the middle of the locker room floor. I would be so tired, and just like the crayon, I’d feel as though I was peeled and faded, and worn down because I was worked to exhaustion.

So I left that little grey crayon to rest on the floor of my classroom, because I knew it probably needed a break; I knew how that crayon felt, because I used to be that crayon.

Softball is many things. Today, softball is a grey crayon.


5 thoughts on “Softball is a Grey Crayon

  1. I loved your analogy of the grey crayon to your grey sweatsuit. I;m at the end of our day before heading to Spring Break. And our classroom is full of grey crayons!! Glad to know we are in good company!!


  2. Great analogy! We all need the just right fit and the rest! I hope you are sharing your slices with your students- such a model of a unique way to frame slices and finding/following your passions.


  3. Okay, this is my new favorite. I love the lens you use to look a simple gray crayon. I love your word choice. I love the details you include which seem like they don’t matter but add so much to the tone of the Slice (like Dance Moms). I just love this.


  4. I wondered where you were going with this one. I had a pair of grey sweat pants for years (decades?) that were most most loved, most comfortable thing to slip on to hang around the house. (In the early years they went in public, but the last many they weren’t allowed out.) Finally, the holes in the back side got to be too much and they had to be put to rest. I haven’t been able to find ones as great to replace them with. (Could be that I stole them from my brother and he had done some of the breaking in.) Your post makes me think of those sweatpants.


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