When you grow up in southeast Michigan, your life is steeped in sports from the very beginning. We have long traditions of winning, with the Red Wings, and losing, with the Lions. There's in-state rivalries, such as Michigan and Michigan State, and rivalries that divide the region, like Michigan and Ohio State.
But my favorite, above all, are the Detroit Tigers. For my family and I, summers were spent at the ball park, and if we weren't there in person, we were watching on TV and listening on the radio. It was just what we did.
Going to the ball park is still my favorite summer activity and now that I'm able, I go as often as possible. I go with friends, with my family, but my favorite games are the ones I go to by myself.
My first game by myself was a little nerve wracking. I had been to the city hundreds of times, but never alone, and even in the middle of the day, I was a little nervous. But as soon as I parked, I felt right at home.
I walked in to the park and followed my normal routine-got my score card and pencil and immediately found my seat. I was upper deck, behind the plate. The city skyline was laid out in front of me. I could see every corner of the stadium-all the fans milling around under me, the players stretching, the grounds crew preparing the field.
I sat in silence for the next four hours, watching the game and marking the players every move in meticulous detail on my score card. The sun beat down on my face, and the cool wind came in from left field.
The Tigers won the game, with Brandon Inge providing the walk off home run against the Rangers. It was exciting-the stadium was electric.
I left the game with the rest of the fans and got into my car. While still celebrating the Tigers win, I was celebrating much more than that-my independence, my new found happiness. In those four hours, I rediscovered a passion and uncovered a feeling of contentment I had yet to experience.