You’ve done your job. You’re on second base. As you slowly create distance between you and the base, anticipation starts to grow, hoping your teammate will be able to further advance you around the bases. The pitcher starts his windup. As the ball leaves the mound, your focus intensifies. Your heart starts beating faster. You hear the bat hit the ball and in a millisecond the ball rockets over your head. You’re now running. The third base coach is waving you on. You have to trust your coach’s decision. You round third, you see the pitcher running toward home plate as well, racing to get behind the catcher in case of an errant throw. You look at your teammate behind the catcher telling you to slide. The catcher, his arm stretched out to the max, squats protecting his turf. You adjust your course slightly to the right and lunge into a head-first slide. You hit the ground. The impact causes dirt to fly into the air. Like the catcher, your left arm can’t be extended any further. You touch home plate. You know the catcher tagged you. But when? Did you beat the throw? You look up toward the home plate umpire. In what seems like an eternity, you listen and watch for his call. You know it’s going to be close. And then you see his arms making the safe motion and hear that glorious word, “Safe!” You hop up and high five teammates as you make your way to the dugout. Life is good. You feel great. And then you hear it.
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