I conquered my first unassisted pull-up earlier this week. It was one of the goals I set for myself about a month ago.
Today I did a couple more just to prove the first one wasn’t a fluke. Now I can casually say with confidence, “Who me? Yeah, I can totally do a pull-up.” It doesn’t seem like the hugest deal in the world, I know. But, it is big for me.
Even more rewarding than achieving my own success was watching my two boys start baseball season. My 8-year old is just getting his feet wet in somewhat competitive ball. Prior to this year, the only pitching he faced was dished up by his coach.
Now he’s facing boys his own age hurling strikes at him faster than he can blink an eye.
My 10-year old has a couple of competitive seasons under his belt and he is really starting to come into his own. Tonight he allowed only one run while on the mound and hit back-to-back triples. I told him to bask in the glory while it lasted because you can be on top of the world one day, and cause an error to let your team down the next.
That is what I love about the game of baseball and why I miss playing fast pitch softball. Each pitch and swing of the bat is so meticulously planned and the really good players make it all look so effortless.
For those who have never played or coached the game, these sports can seem incredibly slow and dull. However, there is so much strategy and heart that goes into every inning. My son was able to feel on top of the world earlier this evening because 11 of his buddies backed him up, knocked down balls, hustled their hardest, and rallied from behind to pull off a win. The camaraderie experienced on the ball diamond is like nothing else I’ve experienced in life.
When else in sports are you willing to put yourself at risk of getting drilled by a hard non-inflated object on both offense and defense in an all-out effort to help your team succeed? I’m not saying it’s the hardest sport in the world (after all, I’ve never played football, hockey, or fought in a cage), but I would argue that hitting a moving baseball IS one of the hardest skills in sports.
Baseball is a game of child’s play. No matter how old the athlete, when downpour and lightning cause rain delays, you are bound to see a ball player sliding across the tarp-covered field. Cheeks are both smeared with eye black and stuffed to capacity with sunflower seeds. Kids show up in flocks for the chance to catch a coveted fly ball. And moms can barely contain their excitement and pride from tee ball through the major leagues.
I’ll be enjoying America’s past-time this summer and I hope you enjoy the warmer months too.