I still remember the conversation I had with my mom my Senior Yr of Highschool about playing college ball. I remember the day I spoke to my first ever college coach on the phone. It was in that moment where I knew I was moving forward into accomplishing a goal I had set out for myself as an early teenager. On that particular day into my early teenage days I was with my softball team watching Team USA play against Oklahoma Baptist University in preparation to go play in the Olympics. It was then meeting Liza, Dot and Michell...I knew I wanted to play college ball, then go on, play professionally and then YES play for my country in the Olympic games!
Little did I know....
that I would finish out my high school career, get an athletic scholarship to play college ball only to have everything change from there.
See my plan was to PLAY the rest of my life. I had it all mapped out, down to the day job I would have to support my playing ball as well as what it was going to take to compete at that level. I was going to become a teacher so I could have Summers off and Holidays off to travel and play softball and yes play on Team USA.
21 years later This time of year is a fresh, constant reminder of who is truly in control of "my life." It is also a reminder that my last game I played my sophomore year of college was going to me my last colligate game ever to be played and I had no clue.
Prior to having a constant headache for 3 painful months, one night I started not feeling good on my hosting shift and in that moment I had to run to the restroom and quickly vomit, I barley made it. Questioning why I was suddenly sick, was it something I had ate, oh gosh did I catch a virus!?! Either way from that moment on I couldn't stop vomiting. I remember coming home early due to not feeling good to an empty home with my roommates gone grocery shopping and doing everything I could to just go to bed. No sooner did I lay down, I jumped out of bed to be sick yet again. I kept an eye on my alarm clock (nope I didn't have a cell phone) and within 10 minutes I had been sick 7 times and by this time I couldn't even stand. I was crawling and finally found myself on the phone with my mom crying and telling her I couldn't stop vomiting. It was in that moment my mom shifted from mom mode and went into her super hero power, MEDICAL MOM!
My mom had told me to get to the ER ASAP. No sooner did she say that, my roommates walked in the door. My roommates came home to find me in the hallway on the floor awake but I had no strength to move. I remember them both picking me up and helping me get in the car. I don't remember the ride let alone checking in. I remember puking on the nurse as she took my blood pressure. I then remember having to be wheeled out of the ER do to the amount of pain meds they gave me, I couldn't even walk.
From there it was lights out, literally for 16 hours. It was still the weekend and I had woke up feeling better. Nausea was gone, headache was at a low hum so I figured I would try to make up my hours I had to cut out on the day before. After all I had been functioning with a headache for 3 months. No let up unless I was sleeping and over the counter pain meds were a joke. So much I just didn't take them anymore when I realized there was no point. So I got approval to come in as long as I felt good enough. I proceeded to head to the bathroom to brush my hair...
Little did I know...
that in that moment of doing something I had done a million times I wouldn't be able to see out of my right peripheral. I dropped my brush in utter fear of what had just happened. I picked it back up as if I was re-setting something and it was just a glitch. Looked in the mirror with game like confidence closed, my eyes, brought the brush to the right side of my head, started brushing again and then opened my eyes. I had lost my peripheral vision in my right eye. I quickly called my mom who has been in Radiology since I was 3 years old and was and still is one of the BEST RADIOLOGY MULTI-MODALITY Professionals not to mention currently Head of her Radiology Department. I told her my symptom and she knew something greater neurologically was going on in the left side of my brain for it to be causing malfunctions on the right side. Again here came my MEDICAL MOM to the rescue! Trusting not just her Motherly instinct but also her Medical instinct, she blew up a Neurology Center with messages to call her first thing in thing in the morning, also letting them know that she was a CT and MRI tech and had a suspicion 3 months ago something was terribly wrong.
My moms biggest fear in all of that is she had suspected brain cancer that had metastasized. My whole domineer had changed. I was always in a bad mood, all I wanted to do was sleep and because of my constant pain eating was like the last thing I wanted to do. She said my whole personality had changed and that unfortunately is something that happens to people when brain cancer starts to spread quickly, so much it can cause a midline shift to where one side of the brain is swollen and then causes the other side of the brain to malfunction.
That following Tuesday was one of the longest trips of my life to the Neuro Center. Constantly having to pull over to dry heave, yup the nausea was back as well as the headache. I remember checking in with my mom along side of me the whole way until the spinal tap. I remember the room being cold and I remember being scared of what was going on. My body was turning against itself. The body that I worked and mastered mechanics to pitch proper, the body that I fed in order to preform, the body that had been with me day 1 was at war with itself. I was shaking in fear, as the nurse gently assisted me by holding my forearms to lay on my side to the Doctor could preform a spinal tap to check and see what pressure level my spinal fluid was at. (side note, its not supposed to me over 24).
IT HURT SOOOO BAD, my mom heard me scream clear out in the waiting room. It was the hardest thing I had to do, to sit still and cry with a needle in my spine. Then as the nurse started to speak into me and let me know I was going to be okay and she was right there...something happened. The pain in my head that I had lived with for 3 months straight was gone. She assisted me sitting back up after the Doctor was done and I looked up at her and said, "Its gone." She quickly replied back, "What's gone?" I said, "the pain...it's gone." In shock of how quickly the pain had been removed the Doctor suspected that their as a Pseudocyst sitting on the left side of my brainstem. So quickly after that procedure I was in an MRI machine.
The first test he ran, there was nothing to be seen. Then he decided to have them perform and MRV, they injecting "ink" into my blood stream. There....it....was. A blood clot that was already 98% occluded in the left sagital sinus of my venous system in my brain. (Are you doing the math yet?) 100% occluded I would have been dead. It was shortly discovered after that, that my spinal pressure came back 29 and by the imaging finding and the direct correlation with the spinal pressure test results I was shipped to the ICU Head Trauma Floor of the hospital.
Little did I know...
that I was born with 2 genetic clotting disorders. I have and was born with a Protein S and a Protein C clotting disorder. I got one gene from my Bio father and one from my mom. Yes, I still remember the Doctor saying, "You hit the genetic clotting disorder lottery." After testing for every "normal" clotting disorder, I wasn't on BC and then them realizing that I was an athlete and in the best shape of that stage in my life, they started doing genetic testing. How could a 20 year old athlete just throw a clot? A clot that big that at ANY given moment I could sneeze and have an aneurysm (blow out the left side of my brain and die). I could go to sleep at any moment to never wake again. I remember my room having the crash cart, hence ICU. In fact I remember setting off the alarms for coding because when I would sleep my resting heart rate would drop down as low as 47 bpm. Thankfully I had a great nurse who educated the staff as to who I was (a healthy athlete) and informed them of my situation like it was his daily anthem. I wasn't your "normal" ICU Head Trauma Patient. I could walk, I could talk and I was 100% coherent.
It was determined in those moments that my college playing days of softball were over. (its okay to be sad for me but also be happy for me) I GREW from it! It was also one of the hardest things I had ever really worked though at that point in my life. It even triumphed me growing up in my broken home. See softball was something I could control, it was something I could protect and no one could take it from me, it as my safe space....my happy place. Crazy thing is, 21 years later it still is all of those things and SO MUCH MORE.
Little did I know...
that the young girl I started doing pitching lessons with when I was 18 and she was 12 years old, just 2 years before my genetic clotting disorder was diagnosed; little did I know that would be the first page to my coaching journey not to mention she also is one of my best friends to this day! She went on to play 4 years of college ball and also become a pitching instructor too and has a beautiful son!
Fast forward 21 years later, a total of 23 years of coaching, 3 years of training and competing in body building competitions, my amazing husband and our 3 amazing miracle children... I have been on blood thinners everyday of my life called Warfarin. I was told to never get pregnant because the risk of birth defects, miscarriage's and maternal death were greater than me actually carrying a child to term let alone surviving the birth. If you are wondering if I have to take my meds everyday, yes have to take pills everyday to stay alive. When I was was pregnant I had to take Lovenox or Heparin in shot form to my subcutaneous tissue 2 times a day to not cause birth defects. Warfarin causes birth defects. I also have to eat healthy and live a healthy active lifestyle or other things will start to happen in my body. See blood thinners reacts with everything. From Vitamin K (green leafy foods) thicken your blood all the way to even melatonin (thins your blood out) to help one go to sleep. Hence why if you know me personally you know I eat salads consistently and workout daily and drink a gallon of water a day to make sure (INR) International Normalized Ratio is with in normal range for my body, which is the time it takes for my blood to clot which is prothrombin time (PT). Keep in mind my genetic code wants my blood to clot too much, hence why I take blood thinners for life...for life.
Little did I know...
that I would still be doing softball on a coaching platform for 23 years and counting with 16 years experience all the way to the college level to help female athletes OWN THIER GREATNESS on and off the field by teaching them the foundational mechanics to increase strength in their body to protect them from having poor mechanics and to increase their longevity in their ability to pitch. A long with teaching them how to become mentally stronger with #mentalmadness, emotionally stronger with self awareness, spiritually stronger to be connected to their Faith and nutritionally sound as to how to build a better pitcher form the inside out.
Now being a College Pitching Coach and the Owner and Operator of my Softball business KallyVSoftball.com and have this powerful platform I can continue this journey right along side of you.
A pitcher who is striving for more than just the basics and needs the direction of how to set up her motivation in order to provide daily discipline to her talent, craft and love of this game?
A pitcher who needs to trust in her training and her ability to produce and command amazing quality pitches?
A pitcher who wants more for herself and her career?
A pitcher who wants to go on and play college ball and maybe even the Olympic Team!?!
It is my mission as Coach and someone who knows what it is like to be on the mound, to help female pitching athletes embrace their ability to OWN their Strengths on and off the mound. To OWN their opportunity to do GREAT things!
If you believe this is something you as a pitcher would like to obtain feel free to sign up at my website kallyvsoftball.com
Maybe you are a parent who is interested in getting a pitching coach for your daughter that is going to show her how manage the manageable, control the controllable and learn how to OWN her strengths while not getting caught up in comparison.
Do you want your daughter to have the strength in self belief to command her pitches on the mound one pitch at a time? If so, please sign up and shoot me a message! I would love to set up a free call to see how I can support your daughter in reaching her softball goals!
I am currently taking applicants 14 years and older and spots are LIMITED!