Every time you win, it diminishes the fear a little bit. You never really cancel the fear of losing; you keep challenging it – ARTHUR ASHE

First things first, I’m going to talk about how the weekend went. It has taken me more than a couple days to be able to express it into words for you all. We had two pretty big games a head of us, the first team was against Maxell, and the second was against Uenos team. They had placed second in league last year. We lost 3-1 against Maxell, I went into the game in the third inning when we were already down 3-1. We were hitting the ball later on in the game but a lot of the time we were hitting it right at people. That loss was a tough one  because it felt like we carried the momentum the whole game! A loss is a loss, and we can only get better from it.

I was really mentally preparing myself for the next game against Ueno’s team. I have never had the opportunity to throw against her even while playing with Team Canada, so it was pretty cool getting my first start against her. If you all don’t know her, she was pretty much the heart for their 2008 Olympic team and helped them reach their goal of a gold medal. The game started out pretty good, we hit a first inning home run and I seemed to cruise through the first 4 innings throwing really well. Once that 5th inning hit, I seemed to feel like I was in a bit of a funk, I’ve never felt like this before and it was quite frankly a very ODD feeling. I could not throw a strike, I got behind the first hitter, and walked her and the next batter came up and I was not able to find the strike zone at all. I ended up walking the bases loaded. Its easier said then done to just “throw a strike” when your in those types of situations, because well, I was trying, I think I was trying to hard to throw one and it back fired. So there we were bases loaded, none outs with a 1-0 lead. I ended up striking the next girl out, and the next batter hit a fly ball to center which allowed the runner on third to score, thinking we were going to get out of there with a tie ball game, I threw a wild pitch and the second run of the ball game scored. Just not acceptable, that sort of stuff can’t happen on my end. We got out of the inning loosing 2-1. I came off still thinking we were going to be able score and win so I was trying to stay up beat. I ended coming out the next inning.

We lost that game, and I’ve never really felt like that. I’ve usually had great control over the strike zone. I sat in our dugout for 20 minutes after the game just thinking about what happened, analyzing the situation, trying to figure out what was going on in my mind. I was a stir of emotions there for a while. Only because I hate losing obviously, but I know how hard our team works and how much they care about this sport. I want them to know when I’m out their in the circle I’m giving everything I have to them any way I can. Losing is a disappointment to me and I ALWAYS feel like their is something I could have done. I could have thrown a better pitch to stop that passed ball and we would have been out of that inning. Woulda shoulda coulda, its all a mind game up in your dome. This game for me was a tough one to swallow. But I have got over it, I have learned from it and I promise to myself and to my teammates a situation like this will not happen again.

HIROSHIMA

This was our last league game leading up to a 3 day break for the team. It was a break for everyone to shut their minds off and just recharge. People had the option to either go and see family, travel, or head back to Kariya. Megan and I decided to go site seeing. We headed to Hiroshima on a day of adventure to soak it all up. Can I tell you guys how great it is having her here. She has been so helpful in so many ways, shes their for me to vent to, to talk to about softball, to talk to about boys, to talk to about life, and its nice to have someone to confide in when your a million miles away from everyone.

One word to describe Hiroshima and that is “Tragic”. I posted some pictures below, one of them is of the last building standing after the bomb, as well as pictures I took throughout the museum. One is of Hiroshima when  it had all the buildings and the other is how much the bomb took out. What a scary thing to think about. I was walking around the museum looking at real life photos and watching videos and I had this knot in my stomach thinking that this actually happened. What got me the most was when I was listening to this audio tape I bought to take around the tour and it talked about how many kids were left without families, and how many were burned so bad they died alone without even getting to see a family member. It brings me to tears even writing this. I could never imagine this happening, just a regular day as a child heading to school, kissing your mom and dad goodbye, knowing it was your last. Tragic. Its sad to think that their are places that still have those nuclear bombs. Why do we even need them? What do they accomplish really?

On a lighter note, after we checked out the museum we decided to go and check out the floating Shrine. We had to take a 40 minutes train ride, and a ferry over to the island, but it was worth it when it was all said and done. The ferry reminded me of heading over to Vancouver Island with our high school basketball team. Great memories. It was nice a warm day, feeling the wind hitting you. Their was the cutest little boy ever on the ferry that I kept waving at and he got the courage to come over and ask for a picture. I posted it, he is the one sitting right next to me in the photo of all the kids! So cute. Once we got over their I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but seeing over a hundred deer walking around was not in my vision. It was the weirdest thing ever. They were like  dogs running around for attention and food. Also they enjoyed biting your things. Not cool. You can pretty much tell from my faces in the photos that I was not overly fond of them, not to mention they were dirty. It was different to see though. Only thing  I would have changed was the tide, the shrine wasn’t really floating it was just sitting in sand. Megan bought some cute post cards so I could see what it was all about. It was a neat adventure over there.

After walking around for a bit longer we decided to head back towards our hotel and grab our bags to head back to Kariya. We were taking the bullet train and decided to grab some red wine from the international store in the train station since it was going to be a two hour and twenty minute train ride, and what a GREAT idea that was! Megan and I sat and drank and ate chips and salsa and talked about our life long goals! I’m sure some of you are like “BORING” but its a pretty neat thing to verbalize your future to a friend. It was a blast! We also planned our Vegas party for super bowl, exclusive invite only –sorrrry!! Once we headed back to Kariya we met up with one of our good girlfriends Simi for our wine/cheese and nut party. It was a fun little evening that entailed Megan putting feathers in our hair! That made the night! I haven’t had that much fun just sitting and drinking with girlfriends in a while. It felt nice!

The next couple days were pretty relaxing. We didn’t do much. Just shopped around a little bit and went to the beach for a couple days. It felt nice to just sit and feel the ocean breeze and put our feet in the water. The past couple days I have been in a bit of a funk. Its been kind of hard. I think its a combination of things. Missing home, missing my significant other, just missing the little things. Don’t get me wrong its been amazing here so far, but I think everyone goes through their emotional days, especially us females! So I apologize to Megan and to our translator Kuroki cause they are around me the most! Two things I’m really excited for, our inter-squad game tomorrow and then our trip to Tokyo this weekend! Its going to be me, Megan and Lauren and her girlfriend Shannon. Its going to be a great adventure on our own! After we get back we will have a couple days of practice and then time for league games again. I’m anxiously awaiting my next start and I can’t wait to take the mound again.

One of my fav quotes to leave you guys with…

How do you act when the pressures on, when the chance for victory is almost gone, when fortunes star has refused to shine, when the ball is on the five yard line?

How do you act when the goings rough, does your spirt lag when breaks are tough? Or, is there in you a flame that glows brighter as fiercer the battle grows?

How hard, how long will you fight the foe? Thats what the world would like to know!

Cowards can fight when they’re out ahead. The uphill grind shows a thoroughbred! You wish for success? Then tell me, how do you act when the pressure’s on?

Thanks again to you all who take the time to read this! I really appreciate it! I miss you guys and I’m so thankful for all of your support :)

Love,

D.E.L

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