My Dad has been in the military for 27 years. This meant he missed all of my firsts, my first steps, my first words, and even my first breath. I have two half sisters that my dad left when they were young. It made me feel like he tried so hard to be a better father to us, my Brother and I, because of the regrets he had with them. My Mom always says that my Dad has trouble differentiating his soldiers and his children, so when my dad told me “You’re not as good as you think you are”, it absolutely shattered me.
I remember it so vividly, I was a freshman in high school and I just found out I was going to be the starting JV catcher. My Dad and I were outside doing drills and I was telling him how my coaches told me I had so much potential and my Dad tells me “you know you’re not as good as you think you are”. This man was my role model, he was my idol. I used to wake up at five in the morning just to watch the news with him when I was in third grade and he killed all those memories and all those feelings in one sentence.
I spent that whole season working on my catching and trying to improve just for him to not come to a single one of my games. The next season I was on varsity, but then Covid hit. Once my sophomore season was put to an end I entered my Junior year with high hopes. I was the starting varsity catcher and I came home to tell my parents my exciting news and as always my Dad had something to say. Of course he said congratulations but shortly after that he says “your team isn’t even that good” and that leads to him telling me why he never comes to my games. “It’s not worth coming if you guys don’t play well enough to win”.
Tears just started streaming down my face out of pure disbelief. My Dad has always tried to tell me things that I need to hear and not what I want to hear, but when it starts feeling like there is nothing I can do that will be good enough for him I don’t need to hear what I need to hear. I just need a supportive father. After this dispute I had with my Dad I promised myself that I would do whatever I needed to do to spite him and prove him wrong. So I worked harder than I ever have and I took fastpitch very seriously and I got the RAM Award. According to my coach the RAM Award is the highest award he gives out. He gives the award to the person that “exemplifies everything we teach about this program”. That is me.