Baron Batch: My Story From 30,000 Feet

Steelers rookie running back Baron Batch shares his inspirational story of poverty, pain and perseverance.

(page 1 of 4)

Editor's Note: The following article has been contributed by Baron Batch, the Steelers' seventh-round pick in the 2011 Draft. In addition to being a talented running back, Batch is a published writer and photographer. In January, he traveled to Haiti to help the country's rebuilding efforts. This is his story, in his words, raw and unedited, accompanied by his own original photography.

This column isn’t directed for reader satisfaction—as strange as that sounds. I guess this column is more like personal therapy for me. Rarely do I ever know what I am going to write about before I write it. Typically, something happens during the week and bingo, I then know exactly what I need to write about, and this week has been no different.  I am writing this entire column in response to an email I just read. This is what the email said:

Dear Baron,

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I have a few questions and am asking for advice. How have you become so successful? How have you achieved what you have? I envy you, but you are also my hero. My family doesn’t have much. I don’t have the perfect life and the talents or skills that you have. I feel like the world is against me sometimes. My parents are divorced and my mom is sick. I have brothers and a sister that I have to take care of like I am a parent. I don’t think it’s fair.  I feel like I will rot in the town that I’m in. I feel like there is no way out. I feel like my life isn’t that important. Can you please email me back because that would be so cool! I would like to hear any advice that you could give. Thanks for reading this.

—Anonymous

Usually, I do all my writing from the comfy red couch that sits in the corner of Sugar Browns, my favorite coffee shop, but after reading that email, this column is written from a somewhat different location. My fingers keep slipping off of the screen of my iPhone because they are drenched with nervous sweat. I genuinely hate to fly, and hate might be an understatement.  It’s ironic that I am about to tell all of you a story during takeoff and through the course of a flight. I figure maybe writing will take my mind off of the fact I’m terrified, and yes, I know that all electronic devices are suppose to be turned off, but I refuse to believe having a phone on makes a difference. Too bad I’m not flying Southwest; I heard that they installed sunroofs in their planes as of two weeks ago, and will even leave it open during the flight! OK, I probably shouldn’t have made that joke, because I just freaked myself out. 

The story I’m about to disclose to you is hard for me to tell because I’ve never really told anyone more than bits and pieces. Few people know this story in its entirety. This is a story that consists of more turbulence and bumps than this flight out of Lubbock that is being tossed helplessly by the west Texas wind. This is a story that I have trouble telling, and honestly really don’t like to. However, after reading that email, I realized this is a story that many young people probably need to hear. This story is one that is close to my heart simply because it is my own. I guess one reason I have avoided this story for so long is because I have never wanted people to pity me. I guess its about time to explain some things.  Now that the plane has reached its cruising altitude, let's begin.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

A new economy is being built by a younger, highly educated generation that appreciates the city’s past while embracing its future.
Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Thanks to grassroots community efforts and investments by nonprofits, foundations and developers, the neighborhood is on the cusp of a long-awaited renaissance.
PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

She says we 'Burghers must recognize our resistance to change and realize that we need to give it a chance.
Review: Willow

Review: Willow

Following a menu and interior overhaul in late 2014, Willow returns as a revitalized dining option in the North Hills.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
Mush! Man Tours Pittsburgh on Dog Sled

Mush! Man Tours Pittsburgh on Dog Sled

We bet you didn't get to work this way.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
History Lesson: Amelia Earhart’s Crash-Landing in Pittsburgh

History Lesson: Amelia Earhart’s Crash-Landing in Pittsburgh

PittGirl discovers why the famous female aviator made an unplanned stop here.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Looking for the Best Baguette in Pittsburgh? We Found It.

Looking for the Best Baguette in Pittsburgh? We Found It.

Five Points Artisan Bakeshop in Squirrel Hill is a gluten lover’s paradise.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
5 Inns, Lodges or B&B’s for the Perfect Valentine’s Getaway

5 Inns, Lodges or B&B’s for the Perfect Valentine’s Getaway

All are located within a two-hour drive of Pittsburgh.

Comments


After Dark Hall of Fame: East Carson Street

After Dark Hall of Fame: East Carson Street

The second entry in the After Dark Hall of Fame is a street — and it's the center of Pittsburgh's nighttime universe.

Comments


Pizza for Breakfast is Good for You

Pizza for Breakfast is Good for You

Here are two quick pizza recipes that will elevate you to superhero status.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Buzz Worthy

Buzz Worthy

The coffee facial scrub from Pittsburgh-based Simple Sugars packs a punch of caffeine for your face.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's First Gallery Crawl of 2015 is Tomorrow

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's First Gallery Crawl of 2015 is Tomorrow

Head to the Cultural District on Friday for a night of free comedy, art, film and food.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Welcome to Nest!

Welcome to Nest!

In the first edition of our new home newsletter, we offer home-design advice, courtesy of the experts, and fill you in on stylish city events.

Comments

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags