There are days in shoulder surgery rehabilitation that made me feel as if I was in a deep, dark hole that I couldn’t escape from. I would drive to the baseball field each day, yet never be able to step on it. I could hold a baseball, yet only for shoulder exercises. I could watch other guys run out there and toss the ball around, take ground balls, throw bullpens, and pitch in games. However, I couldn’t. The game that I love so much was taken from me. Slowly but surely I dug myself out of that hole. I scratched and clawed my way back. Little daily victories, followed by weekly victories, followed by monthly ones. I slipped and fell a few times on my way back out of that dark hole. I hit the ground hard, but got back up and started scratching and clawing again. There was only one option for me. To overcome. To play baseball again. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.
Today was a huge personal milestone for me. I threw in a live BP to a live hitter who was swinging away at my pitches. A live BP is short for live batting practice. Hitters take BP each day from a coach who is throwing the ball relatively slowly at them. In a LIVE BP there is a pitcher out there getting his work in, throwing close to game speed. So, today, I was that pitcher. I have waited almost a year to the day to face a hitter. I’m sure you can imagine the adrenaline rush as I toed the rubber this morning. Sure, there was NO ONE in the stands. Yes, it was only in Arizona. And no, I wasn’t even wearing my uniform. But for 10 short minutes I was back on the mound. My home. My office. Doing what I love to do. Feelings like that can’t be put into words. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Pretty awesome.
The next step for me is a light bullpen on Saturday. Following the Saturday bullpen is another live BP on Tuesday. Tuesday’s live BP will be a little different. I’ll throw for 8 minutes or so, sit down for 8 minutes, and get up and throw 8 more minutes. The reason is to simulate the start/stop pitching style as a starting pitcher. As long as those go well, I’m scheduled to be in a game sometime around next Saturday, May 15.
Just as today was a huge personal milestone for me, actually being in a game sometime toward the end of next week will be an even bigger one. As always, I appreciate all of you reading my blog. I appreciate those Facebook/Twitter followers that constantly keep me motivated/uplifted/focused on my goal. You guys are the best. Thanks again for reading. Until next time…