Adjustments Written By Charity Butler
Have you ever been overweight? No, I am not referring to the bathroom scale, rather the airline scale!
Have you prepared to leave the country for months at a time? Have you packed carefully, modestly and strategically only to get to the check-in counter at the airport and be informed that your check bag is still too heavy?
Well, speaking from experience, it is not the most comfortable of situations.
So why in the world was I leaving the country? Who am I, and why am I telling the softball world about my experience?
My name is Charity Butler. As a former pro fastpitch player, I am inviting you to experience a chapter in my softball story: my first season of professional international play in Skovde, Sweden.
Over the coming weeks, I will fill you in my incredible Swedish softball journey. You are in for sports stories from a rather unique perspective. So, buckle up.
Back at the airport, getting all my “stuff” on the plane to Sweden required some spur-of-the-moment adjustments. We tore through both check bags, balanced the weight and then filled my carry-on backpack with most of the heavier items.
Although the luggage was still slightly over the limit, the compassionate lady behind the counter authorized the bag without further questioning. However, the backpack I carried around the airport was a much heavier load than originally intended!
Once I arrived in Sweden, I literally “hit the ground running.” I attended my first team practice the day I arrived in country.
We played our first double-header the following day in the capital city of Stockholm, a four hour drive from Skovde. Boy was I jetlagged! We did, however, win our first two games, 11-1 and 9-6! Two and “O” baby!
I was trying desperately to take it all in. It was like drinking from a fire hydrant for the first few weeks. A new language and culture can be a bit overwhelming.
The exquisite Swedish scenery and the charming European architecture made me feel as if I was in a movie. The people were unbelievably hospitable.
They treated me as though I had been a part of the team for months.
What a wonderful place to live. I was just getting started and felt as though I still had so much to see and experience.
Taking this journey was an exciting challenge. Even so, it required adjusting more than mere luggage. It meant rearranging every aspect of life for the next several months. At times, like my backpack in the airport, I carried a heavier load than expected.
Leaving my family and friends as well as rearranging my responsibilities in the U.S. were not comfortable tasks. I did, however, experience great grace when I missed the mark or was a tad “over the weight limit”.
This journey was a stretch and challenge on many different wavelengths of life.
I believe, though, Diane Ackerman says it best, “I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
That is most definitely what I did during this international tour. Stay tuned for plenty of motivational and inspirational stories ahead!
Charity Butler is respected nationally & internationally as a pro athlete, writer, speaker, collegiate coach, hitting instructor and Certified Intrinsic Life Coach®.
Charity, a Two-Time ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American, played Division I softball at the University of Southern Mississippi. Upon graduation, she launched a professional softball career that has taken her across the U.S. and literally around the world.
Currently, as a Pro Speaker for Sports World, Inc, Charity travels the country speaking to more than 40,000 people annually. As a recognized expert in confidence training, she also presents at various conferences, colleges & universities.
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