Hey everyone. I got a ton of awesome feedback from my first post. Thanks for taking the time to check it out. As you may have noticed, we got the title, On the Road With Ben Sheckler, up and running.

In my last post I mentioned how I wasn’t ready for real life to hit when this past year at Cornerstone ended. Several times over the last few weeks I’ve found myself awake until 2 or 3 in the morning, scrolling through my camera roll, laughing at pictures and videos from the last three years at CU. And now, with only a couple days left in Arizona, I’ve also become eager to get back to Grand Rapids so I can be around my friends and family again. I’m also really looking forward to being back around campus at Cornerstone every now and then, even though I’m no longer a student there. And I’m completely fine with being “that guy” — the one that doesn’t go to the school anymore but still lingers around. I miss the baseball team, the coaches and beautiful DeWitt Field. I also miss random things about Cornerstone, like the atmosphere of campus when the weather is nice and everyone is outside; or chapel when my boy Nate’s leading worship; or the buzz of the cafeteria when the whole campus is in the same place; I even miss passing by everyone in the academic buildings and going to class. It’s weird. I think it says a lot about Cornerstone, though. It’s a great place with great students and faculty. It’ll definitely be different not going back for school this fall.

Instead of returning to school, I’ll be coming back down to Arizona for fall instructional league. “Instructs,” as we all call it, is basically spring training in the fall for 65-70 new draftees and other minor leaguers, lasting from mid-September to mid-October. Most, if not all, of the coaches and development staff throughout the organization will be down here, allowing for more one-on-one instruction. I’m looking forward to it being a good learning experience. Once instructs is over, I’ll be back in Grand Rapids until spring training rolls around in late February. I’ll be living at home in Sparta and hopefully doing some substitute teaching to make some money. I’ll also be training with Casey Fisk, who was the hitting coach at Cornerstone my junior year, at Fisk Performance Training in Grand Rapids.

As far as baseball stuff goes, nothing much has happened in the last couple of weeks. The only change has been the weather. August and September are what the locals call monsoon season. Instead of it being 110º and dry outside, it’s 100º with 40% humidity, which is a lot worse in my opinion. And there’s an occasional rain, which makes everything even more humid and disgusting. I’d be lying if I said I’m not looking forward to fall weather in Michigan—flannels, hoodies, jeans and a bonfires on a crisp evening.

One last thing. I didn’t mention this in my last blog post, but about two weeks after I got down here in Arizona, my family was hit with some tough news. My mom FaceTimed me on the morning of July 3 to inform me that she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer two days earlier. I was stunned. The last place I wanted to be at that moment was however-many states away. I wanted to be at home with my mom and my family. Luckily the doctors said they found the cancer early and that it would be pretty easily treatable. She went in for surgery on July 21 and everything went well as planned. They removed the cancer completely and did a biopsy on one of her lymph nodes, for which the results came back all clear. She also had her first radiation treatment yesterday, and she will continue to do radiation every weekday for the next four weeks. Thankfully my mom is tough as nails and has handled this really well so far — and same with my dad. They’re both strong in their faith, and I couldn’t be more thankful for their trust in God and his will in all of this. So, to the prayer warriors that are reading this: it would be so awesome if you all could keep my mom and my family in your prayers as she goes through this bout with cancer.

Thanks again for catching up. I can’t wait to see you all in a couple days. I believe I’ll be flying home on August 30, so I’ll see you all soon.