We all work hard to make our dreams come true. From dreams that look possible to doubtful dreams, and here we have a dreamer who may be on her way in a race that is filled with risks. Jia Park, a baseball player, and actress is who we're talking about.
1 WHO IS SHE?
Jia introduces herself as a baseball player/coach. She's an official candidate national athlete as a female baseball player, something very rare in Korean baseball. But she used to be an actress, or should I say still an actress. She's not acting anymore but she never stated that she retired either.
2 WHY DID SHE START BASEBALL?
Park is working her way up for this dream. Where did this 'dream' start from?
"What made me want to do baseball was from a very simple incident. I went to watch a ball game with my family when I was seven and luckily picked up the ball Seungyub Lee batted. That was a huge event to a girl I was. So then on I wanted to be a baseball player and started playing ball with friends at a neighborhood playground and dreamt on."
3 THINGS THAT MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR HER TO PLAY BASEBALL.
Playing baseball in Korea as a female is tough enough already. Park paved her way up to now going through a lot of struggles.
"My parents were the first friction to deal with. They didn't go against about it from the start. But I once had a nosebleed playing ball and it dripped on my white uniform, changing it all to red. That's when my parents started to worry about me. They still feel uneasy about it but they are rooting for me."
"Another struggle for me is how unstable it was to earn money as an athlete. It's a sport that involves spending money as well so I did ball by emptying what I saved up during acting and my house. But I'm happy because I'm playing ball because I like it and want to. I'm doing it by following my young heart."
4 MOMENTS THAT ENDURE HER
Park says there are moments that comfort her to keep on going throughout all the struggles.
"The most memorable time was two years ago when I was playing ball at Junyub Yang's foundation as the only female. And I won big time with that team. It was raining hard and I got covered all up in dirt but I felt so good. That exhilarating victory over men still stays with me."
"There are proud moments too. There are people who come up to me and say, 'Unni, you encourage me to play ball harder'. It's very uplifting. I started coaching after thinking about what I could do for these kids."
5 THE FUTURE THAT PARK JIA DRAWS
She's been sprinting the way for her dreams. Let's see what she pictures in the future.
"As a baseball player, I want to become an official player from being a candidate athlete and become a female player who can run for this nation. Another future I see is in coaching. A while back, one parent came up to me and said, 'Baseball isn't for girls'. It was something I've heard before but for some reason, I cried a lot over that comment. It made me sharpen myself as a coach too. I want to become a sensitive coach that males can't be."
"Also another thing I want to mention through this interview is for support in Korean female baseball. It's the 10th anniversary since the Korea Female Baseball was formed and so far 800 people, and 48 teams are registered according to the association. I'm expecting the number to grow. For female baseball to grow we need a lot of love and support. I'd like to ask for aid and interest."
We hope Jia keeps on with her dreams despite all the barriers and achieve what she's always been dreaming of as a little girl.
Translated by_ Gen_E