Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Last of the Old Mounties

In the winter of 2009 my entire life took a turn.  It was my second term of college and participating on a college baseball team.  I had worked my whole life to get to this point.  I had put in hundreds if not thousands of hours practicing both with my various teams and by myself.  Dozens of pairs of batting gloves, countless bats and cleats I had gone through to give me an opportunity to carry out a dream.  I had be recruited to play quarterback, but I was born to play baseball.  January 14, 2009 I will never forget. 
I had gone home for Christmas break to my parents that I had a falling-out with the summer before.  Our relationship was worse than bad.  I couldn't stay there and many of my friends didn't come home that break.  I ended up staying on the couch of my ex- girlfriend for part of the break.  We were civil, but had no interest in making amends with one another.  I had traveled home weeks before break for her birthday, stayed a few hours, we broke up after and I left back to school and in time for 5:30 weights and conditioning.  January 14, 2009 I received a text from a number I didn't recognize.  The asked if I wanted to meet up with this person.  I didn't know what to say because I didn't know who it was.  I made the joke of asking if it was in fact some kind of joke and the person was pregnant.  Well 13 weeks later I still believed I was going to be a dad.  I didn't know what to do, but I knew if it was true I was responsible for my actions.  I got played for a fool.  Maybe somehow I really did believe her, or I was at a point where I was that gullible.  I gave up my dream to come back to my hometown and take care of the situation. 
I had talked with a few guys I had played football against in high school and the got me in contact with the head coach of the football program.  I had been recruited as a quarterback at this school a year prior.  After a few weeks of conversation, I was awarded an athletic scholarship and signed my letter of intent to play football.  I suppose I did this as a source of insurance in case I had been played.  I arrived at the school after spring break to find out I was not having a kid, had been played, and gave up my dream.  She transferred out the next term and I haven't seen her since.
That was 5 years ago roughly.  Since then I became a 4 year starter on the football team, received academic all-conference awards, had two major injuries ( one of which ended my career) and played with the best football players this school has ever seen.  We had our team banquet last week and I received the Most Inspirational Teammate Award.  I was the only player on our roster who played as a freshman with guys known as the "Old Mounties."  They were a different breed than the kids today.  The entire atmosphere of life as a football player was much different than today.
So despite giving up my dream of baseball, I made it.  I made the best of the situation I was both given and got myself into.  A thank you might be too much, but whatever it is.... I made it.


2 comments:

  1. Toby, it sounds you take responsibility for your actions and like to make good things out of bad situations. My one question after reading this was how your relationship with your parents is? Hope you have all been able to resolve any problems and have formed a better relationship.

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    1. My relationship with my parents is so much better. I had a lot of growing up to do, and I think they were in a transition period as well. I'm the oldest between my sister and myself so we were all learning:)

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