At 60 feet, 6 inches, the plate looked a long distance from pitcher’s mound.
The batter looked tiny, and the strike zone was even smaller.
But I was used to putting string through the needle’s eye.
I got this.
Wait, did the batter just smile at me?
Stop it, hold on. Get your head straight.
I counted my breaths, just like in training
I leaned back and raised my arms, just like in training
and after I threw the ball, I followed through, just like in training.
And just like in training, the umpire raised his arm and pointed, as he punctuated the air with his voice – “Hee-rike!”
And there is was. I was back and better than ever.
Nothing was going to stop me!
I counted my breaths, just like in training.
Ready to throw my second pitch of the new season.