Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I am an admitted sap. I see some movies (Rudy, Hoosiers, Rocky movies, etc.) that have a hard-working character realizing a dream and I get all teary-eyed. “The Pursuit of Happyness” is another movie that was an emotional one for me. I can put myself in the character’s shoes and think what it would feel like to realize a lifelong dream. I have had dreams like that. When I was 17-years old, I was approached by a Seattle Mariners scout after a baseball tournament. We discussed what my plans were for college and he commented that “I had a lot of pop for a little guy.” It was a flattering moment and to be honest, right then and there my mindset should have been that I could do anything if I put my mind to it. I didn’t blow it off entirely but the conversation went in one ear and MOST of it went out the other. I see certain movies and I flash back to what could have been in my life and at times it makes me sad. I could have played baseball in Europe when I was 20. All expenses paid for an entire year, traveling to places like Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany and France to teach European countries the game of baseball. I turned it down because my then girlfriend, now ex-wife gave me an ultimatum. She said “me or baseball.” The rest is history. My choice, it just turned out to be a bad one.
That was a life setback of sorts. I have no idea how my life would have been different. Divorce can teach you a lot about yourself. I suppose subconsciously, it has added to my list of let-downs in my life. I asked myself for years “what could have been.” I told myself at 25 that I would be playing baseball in a 30 and over league. 30 came and went, and I kept getting fatter. I could never play at the level I was used to playing. Granted I hadn’t played in some time, but I loved the game. I would not be doing it justice if I just went in blind thinking “I still had it.” It would have been an embarrassment. Another disappointment. Please pass the Big Mac.
So now I approach 40. There is another opportunity to play. This time, my mind set is different. Instead of saying “I wish I could,” my mantra is now, “I will.” Maybe it will just be softball instead of baseball. The best thing about either one of those is I will be able to move much better. I can remember the times I spent playing the game. I remember some of the best times I ever had was going to out of town tournaments in the summer time. I remember the call I received telling me I had made the All-State team. I have so many memories that baseball has given me it would be a disservice to play in my current condition. Now my goal is to get back on the field, any field and play again. My goal is to find joy in something other than food. Killing two birds with one stone, losing enough weight to play baseball AND then PLAY baseball again sounds like the perfect replacement for junk. I look forward to it. Today, I am closer than I was yesterday. Tomorrow I will be even closer.