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Faith In The Game

STORIES BY ATHLETES OF FAITH
Faith in the Game is a blog containing submissions by athletes of faith. Each of them was asked one question: Tell us a story about a time when your faith was most present in your life. Rather than tell us about their faith, we asked them to show us. These stories are oftentimes uplifting, and at all times profound, raw, honest, introspective and heartfelt. These are not the sort of stories you hear in a press conference. Some of them take place on the field; others, off it. They are presented without agenda or judgment. On many levels, we think you'll find them fascinating, as they pull up the veil on a side of sports that is rarely revealed but very often present. This blog is moderated by author and father Ben Petrick, a former Colorado Rockies catcher thought to be the only professional athlete to have his career shortened by Parkinson's Disease, along with writer and father Scott Brown. In addition to their professional and family lives, both men are also coaches of youth sports. A selection of the stories they've collected will soon appear in a book, and together they're also working on Ben's autobiography. If you'd like us to email you when new stories appear on the blog, please send us a note at info@imagine-books.net.
  • September 19, 2011 11:41 pm

    Vanity Insanity — by Ben Petrick

    I recently traveled back to Nashville for a Parkinson’s fundraising event, put on by Brent Pederson, a former NHL hockey player and coach that has Parkinson’s disease.  He now holds a position in the Nashville Predators front office.  The team, along with their foundation, helped Brent put this annual event on.  There were 940 people there supporting both foundations and they raised over $300,000 at the event.  I was honored to give a short speech about my story and former NBA player Brian Grant shared some words as well. 

    I’m more than happy to participate in these types of events. While I wasn’t born to be a public speaker — and my Parkinson’s–induced mumble doesn’t help the matter — I am improving.  Events like this one give me hope that through increased fundraising, science and technology will continue to improve and research will one day find a way to eradicate Parkinson’s disease all together. 

    When I retired from baseball seven years ago, it seemed like a nice idea that I would become a spokesperson for Parkinson’s research.  The reality, though, is that as my symptoms grew worse, all I wanted to do was retreat. We tend to romanticize struggle in our country. Scrappiness and grit a part of the American fabric. But the fact is that struggle is a process, and deciding to turn into the wind rather than away from it takes time.

    In my case, my history as a standout athlete created an enormous conflict in me. On one hand, it gave me a platform above and beyond most Parkinson’s patients. On the other, vanity is part and parcel of being an athlete — at least it was for me.

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  • July 18, 2011 4:57 pm

    Carissa Moore, youngest women’s pro surfing world champion ever, from Hawaii, of course. Rock on, little lady!