Cricket and Rounders were the sports I played in my youth. Imagine my surprise when I learned that these sports weren’t played widely in the States. One afternoon after school, a friend invited me to try out for softball. Softball? That was the first time in my life I had heard those two words used together to describe a sport.
It was interesting to see all the students try out with gloves, bats, and cleats looking so official. After observing the first round of hitters, softball looked like a combination of Cricket and Rounders. When it was my turn to hit, imagine my surprise when I reached for the bat only to realize the softball bat designers had made a mistake or faulty bat designs. How do you hit a round ball with a rounded bat?
The bats weren’t made of wood, they were made of aluminum, and they were round. When the ball connected with the bat it ricocheted and it stung pretty badly. I looked at all the bats on the ground and tried to find a flat one. Since there were none, I had to do what we have been doing since arriving in America, make an adjustment. Each hitter was given ten tries. After about four hits or so it became very clear that I would be the gold champion for fouls and my hands hurt. I made another adjustment. I switched to a smaller bat, and moved away a bit from home plate.
My goal was to hit the ball at the widest end of the bat without missing. With about four hits left in the first round, I finally hit the ball without scoring a foul. I adjusted again, this time I switched to a bigger bat, then moved away from the plate a little bit again. The last three hits were home runs. I had two more rounds, almost all the hits were home runs. So how did I get here? I’ve made adjustments. I am still making adjustments. I’ve learned that nothing is wasted, skills and talents from our previous experiences can be transferred and used in new or even challenging environments. I made the team. Wait until I tell you the part where they made me catch the ball with a glove.