Dreaming Into Reality

Dreams become a reality only when you work hard for them

Frankenstorm part II October 30, 2012

Filed under: General — jolchowy25 @ 1:00 am
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Thanks for destroying Atlantic City Sandy. Looks like no concert for me Friday. Two years in a row I’ve had plans ruined by a hurricane. I thought New Jersey wasn’t supposed to get hurricanes (or earthquakes). What’s next…a volcano?

I hope everyone stays safe. And please remember those who are still working to keep us safe.

 

Frankenstorm October 27, 2012

Filed under: General — jolchowy25 @ 10:35 pm
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To all those affected by or will be affected by hurricane sandy stay safe. I’m hoping all the reports are wrong and sj won’t get hit too hard.

 

What is wrong with this world? October 24, 2012

Filed under: General — jolchowy25 @ 1:19 am

This is going to be a rant but it brings up good points. What in the world are people thinking?!

Three months ago someone walked into The Dark Knight Rises and injured 58 people while killing 12.

Over the weekend a 12 year old girl from a few towns over went missing. Two teen boys lured her and killed her so they could get parts from the bike she was riding. Her body was found yesterday in a trash container.

Tonight someone tried (okay they pretty much succeed) in breaking into my shed. This is the fourth time in less than two years. Really people? We have nothing good. Stop breaking in.

People wonder why I don’t wants kids. I say I don’t like them, they’re not for me, etc etc. But really…who would want to bring a child into this type of world? There’s too much violence and hate for children.

 

A Letter to Myself October 17, 2012

Filed under: General — jolchowy25 @ 11:00 am
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Dear 15 year old me,

You would be surprised what your life will be like in ten years. All you think about now is softball. Don’t let that become your life. There’s more to this world than the game. That’s all it is…a game. After college you will no longer be a softball player. You’ll be spending years trying to figure out who you are. I wish I could tell you who you are but for now you are a daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend, co-worker, and teammate. You’ll have the title of girlfriend for awhile, but you won’t need a guy in your life to make you happy. In fact, when you had this so called title, you will be unhappy because every guy will want you to change who you are. Don’t do it.

The world will also have changed. NYC and Washington DC will be attacked, launching a war and changing security for traveling forever. Almost ten years later a team of Navy Seals will capture and kill Osama bin laden, the man responsible for the attacks.

You may have had you spirit broken years ago, but never lose your confidence. If you do, it will be years before you get it back completely. When you do though, it will be the greatest feeling ever.

And finally people will come in to your life for a reason. For the most part, they will leave when no longer needed. Don’t fight it. Just let them go. You’ll also lose family members. I wish I could tell you it gets easier with time but it doesn’t. It’s been two years and you still break down when no ones around. You don’t have to be strong all the time. Let others in. Trust your friends and family.

If you need anything else, ask me again in another ten years. But just know, your life turns out pretty good. At least from what I can tell so far.

Love, your future self

 

A Day No One Will Ever Forget October 15, 2012

Filed under: General — jolchowy25 @ 11:00 am

“You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.” – Colin Powell

On September 11, 2001, Americans’ lives changed forever. For me, it was my first day of high school. I should have been making friends, learning my class schedule, and being a normal teenager enjoying their first day of high school. Little did I know when I walked into my second period religion class, that would all change.

At 8:46am, just minutes before second period was to start, America was under attack. It’s true, you will always remember where you were when something major like that happens. I was sitting in Gloucester Catholic‘s Annex when our principal came on the PA and told everyone what had happened. Everyone was in shock, and the television was immediately turned on. For once, we were witnessing history instead of learning about it.

When we got to third period (algebra for me), we opened our textbooks and the picture on the first page was of the World Trade Center. In a matter of minutes, our brand new textbooks were already out of date. After that,came environmental earth science. We weren’t allowed to watch the news this time around. Our teacher’s son was in the WTC that day and she couldn’t get a hold of him. This was becoming real. I now knew someone who was affected. We learned the next day her son was safe.

Since GC is located right across from the Philadelphia Naval Yard, and no one knew if more attacks were planned, we were dismissed at noon. Once I got home, that’s when I learned about the Pentagon being hit and the plane going down in PA. This is also when I learned my uncle (who works in DC) was near the Pentagon when the plane hit and no one could get a hold of him. Luckily, we learned he was okay later that night.

For me, once I got home I was scared to death and afraid. My parents were telling me we would be safe, especially since we live near the National Guard. Well, in my head that made me think prime target, we’re next to go. Seeing all the barricades the National Guard put up wasn’t reassuring to me.

It’s weird now. Before, whenever history making events occurred, I was never alive or too young to remember. I would have to learn about it in school or read books about a certain time period. I was now old enough to witness (and remember) history being made.

With the years that have passed, there’s not a day that goes by where I can’t and don’t think about this tragedy. From family members to first responders, everyone I know who was involved is okay. Even after killing bin laden, this war we are fighting has gone on too long. I get we are still avenging the deaths of all the Americans who died, but when do we say enough is enough?

 

The Three B’s: Balls, Bats & Bruises October 2, 2012

Filed under: Sports — jolchowy25 @ 5:11 pm
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“There’s no crying in baseball.” – A League of their Own

According to LittleLeague.org, there are currently 25,000 softball teams and 360,000 participants worldwide. Growing up, I was a part of that number. Not only did I play Little League, I played CYO and ASA/NSA/Pony. Without any of those teams, who knows how strong of a person I would be today, both mentally and physically.

I started out playing t-ball in kindergarten. Pretty much the only thing I remember is standing in the outfield picking dandelions. It is also the point in my life when I found my first true love: my passion is sports. Thanks to my dad, he had me on the field practicing so I could get better, and to make sure I still had interest in the game. Who knew then that I would end up working for a professional softball team later on…but more on that later on.

Once I moved up from t-ball, I found myself wanting to play the game at all times, which I guess was a good thing since I made a few All Star teams which meant I would play pretty much all summer. In 1997, I was selected to my first All Star team, Woodbury 9-10 All Stars. I’m not going to lie, we had a great group of girls and we were good. We won districts and sectionals and made it to the state championship tournament. Too bad we played a team that believed in cheating and umpires not willing to call illegal pitches. We ended up losing by 2 runs. But hey, no one expected us to make it that far, plus we were missing our main pitchers. After that summer, I decided I wanted to pitch in case we ever made it back to the championship and needed pitchers. Little did I know, two years later we would be back in that situation, only this time we had our full pitching staff.

As luck would have it, two years later in 1999, I made the 11-12 All Star team. It was the same coaching staff, and pretty much the same girls. We became District 15 and Section 4 Champions again. We were headed back to North Jersey for the State Championship. Low and behold, we won all of our games and were in the State Championship again, versus the same team as two years ago. This time though, luck was on our side. We won. We were state champions. To this day no one can take that away from us. After our celebration, we were heading south to Delaware for the Eastern Regional Tournament. This was my chance to shine. I started game one, and we lost. Same thing with game two. I felt like I let my team down. Along with winning, we were honored before a Philadelphia Phillies game. At the time, they were playing at the Vet so we met Vuck in the Eagles locker room, and before going on the field, met Scott Rolen. It took awhile for it to finally sink in that softball is a team sport, we win as a team, we lose as a team.

This lesson was learned two years later on a field in Hammonton, NJ. Only this time it was CYO ball. It was my last game playing for St. Pat’s. We were in the championship against St. Joe’s. I was on the mound and took a line drive to my shin. At the time, we were winning. I did not want to come out of that game. If we won, it would have been the first time in a few years. I wanted that championship more than anything. But, because of the bruise on my shin, I could barely push off the mound. We ended up losing. I felt horrible, but looking back on it, who knows what would have happened if I stayed in. I could have hurt myself even more. So what if I had a limp three days later at graduation, I was proud of my battle wound…

…Speaking of battle wounds, I can’t even count how many scars I know have thanks to playing travel ball. In six years, I played for four ASA teams. I got to travel up and down the east coast doing what I love. I made numerous friends and had great experiences. I’ll never forget the trip to Carlisle, PA, where I pulled off the greatest prank ever against my coach (and had half of the hotel staff fooled), and then my coach jumping over dogs and people chasing a teammate. He was a great coach.

My love of softball led me to pursue a degree in Sports Management in college, where I ended my softball playing days with the Club Softball team. During my senior year, I interned with the Philadelphia Force, a former team of the National Pro Fastpitch league. The Force was a professional softball team who played home games in Allentown, PA. It was through this internship (and ultimately job), I was able to meet my idols, including Jennie Finch and Crystal Bustos, both former US Olympians. These are two women who helped pave the way for softball. If it weren’t for women like them, I wouldn’t have been able to follow my dream of playing softball. So to Finch, Bustos, Team USA, and the rest of the softball players out there who came before me, I say THANK YOU! Thank you for paving the way so I could follow me dream of getting bruised, spiked and muddy…I mean playing softball.