This week, this Sunday, I’m going to tell you a story and for the first time in 98 weeks of this Sunday Series, I’m going to ask you to lend a hand, not for me, but for the girls, and by doing so maybe we can all help save a life.
We overcome. We persevere. We fight through it all to become something more.
But sometimes we all still need a hand.
To get better than we were the day before takes work, there is no substitute no matter what. Few actually go it alone. There’s almost always someone, maybe many joining the fight and sometimes one stands out from the crowd, despite the obstacles life puts in their path.
Everyone has a story.
I am Mark Brodinsky and this is The Sunday Series.
The Sunday Series (98): This One’s For The Girls
Turn your magic on, to me she’d say,
Everything you want’s a dream away.
Under this pressure, under this weight
We are diamonds taking shape.
- Adventure of a Lifetime, lyrics by Coldplay
We all want the best for our kids, our “diamonds”, the ones we hope to help take shape and shine. There’s good education, good parenting, (no rules, no rule book, what you believe is best), and then there’s the team.
They say there is no “I” in team. There isn’t one, but there are lots of little ones, little “i’s”, all focused on one goal. Organized sports, the kind our kids play makes the “I’s” come together in life, any parent of any child who gets their kids involved knows this. They also know the meaning of practice, to be the best there is no secret. Talent will never get you there alone. It’s all about the grind if you want to shine.
My daughter Emily has learned it this year, certainly more than any other, as she has attended Sunday after Sunday of indoor pitching clinic in an attempt to refine her skills as a pitcher in the LT Lazers Girls Softball League. I give the kid credit, the 7:45am wake-up call each and every Sunday in the dead of winter isn’t always a pleasant one, but she and her friend Lindsey, who attends as a catcher, have made it nearly every week. The power of practice. It was Vince Lombardi who said “practice does not make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect. The girls get up and get there and get to work, but it’s their coach Michael Steinbacher who really makes the difference, as does his daughter Kate.
Coach Mike is a no-nonsense guy and I for one am 200% glad he is, because he is making a difference in these kids lives, pushing them to improve, telling them when they are not doing it right, making them work at it until they do, praising them when they get it – striving to make them better than they were the week before.
It’s working, I can tell, because I’m there every week as well. Over the span of four months, Emily, who for a few years has been a work in progress on the mound, now has a game plan in her head, more muscle memory in her body and a strategy for what she needs to do to throw a strike.
There’s also power that comes from watching your peers get it right as well, especially when you learn their story.
The best pitcher on our team, is also the one who has had to fight more than most to get where she is today. Since she was 4-years-old Coach Mike’s daughter Kate has battled juvenile diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, (T1D), is a life-threatening autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults. There is no way to prevent it, and at present, no cure. And mind you, it’s a lot more serious than most people think. (http://jdrf.org/)
Coach Mike: “Just before Kate‘s 4th birthday she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and hospitalized for 3 days while we learned how to manage the disease by counting carbs and giving shots of insulin. Type 1 diabetes means her body no longer produces insulin to turn the carbs she eats into energy for her cells and reduce her blood sugar and it does not product glycogen needed to raise her blood sugar when it is low to keep her brain active. Too much sugar in the blood displaces the oxygen needed by the body’s muscles and tissues causing them to die, while not enough sugar in the blood will put a person in a coma and cause brain damage, so that fine balance of keeping your blood sugar between 80 and 120 is critical to good health.”
Counting carbs is not the only challenge. Since she was 4, the Steinbacher’s have had to give Kate insulin and since she was old enough to do so on her own, Kate has had to prick her finger 5-times-a-day to measure her blood sugar and endure 4-shots-a-day of insulin. When Kate was 7 the doctor told the family physical activity could help keep Kate’s blood sugar under control, so the Steinbacher’s had Kate playing soccer, basketball and softball, whatever it took to keep their daughter active year-round.
“By 8-years-old Kate decided she liked pitching,” says Mike “and started to learn the techniques to wind mill. She continued to played rec ball every spring sometimes having to come to the bench between innings, feeling her blood sugar was high and checking her finger, then getting a shot of insulin before going back onto the field, or eating a candy bar to bring her blood sugar up.
And that is why today, I am asking you for a hand and it’s two-fold. Our Lazers LT Fastpitch Softball Team (The Blue Team, 14U), is looking to play several tournaments this year, as well our spring league, and we need uniforms and equipment. It’s an expensive undertaking. The LT Lazers are part of the Lutherville-Timomium Rec Council, a non-profit, which has been in existence for nearly two decades. We need donations to keep the cost down for the families who want their girls to participate. But there’s more.
In honor of Kate, we will take 10% of every donation made to our team and contribute it to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, in the hopes that one day maybe we find a cure and Kate and the millions like her will no longer have to face this daily battle of life. Medicine makes it better, but currently there is no escape from the daily grind of the balancing act for blood sugar survival.
There is a GoFundMe link below and we would appreciate even the smallest donation you can make. We can promise you can hold us accountable to our pledge and I will update you on donations to the JDRF fund. We hope you can help: gofundme.com/44rgj6u4
In the end, it’s just about life. Having fun, getting better, making a difference. It’s hard work, good leadership, teamwork, and some inspiration from those who overcome against all obstacles to be the best. When that happens we all win.
Our goals, our challenges, our mission to make these kids the best they can be is no different than the desires of any parent, any family, any coach who wants to see nothing more than these diamonds taking shape.
On this day, at this time, this one’s for the girls. We thank you in advance.
Until next time thanks for taking the time,
Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Speech Writer, Emmy Winner, USHEALTH Advisors
Huffington Post: (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-brodinsky/)
The Profile: (http://www.talkinggood.com/profiles/MarkBrodinsky)
USHEALTH Advisors: (http://www.prweb.com/releases/markbrodinsky/072015/prweb12862708.htm)