I know, the title is kind of hokey but I have realized something for a while now. I am getting older. Yeah, I know, I am a freaking genius. Actually, my point is, as I get older playing the game becomes harder in some ways. As a younger man, running around the outfield it was easy. The ball is hit and, ZOOM, I am off and running. No matter how far away it seems to be my aim is to get there. The shoe string catches, the diving grabs, the over the shoulder snags on a full run, these make for great moments in your life. The problem is, as you get older there are fewer of these moments, you get slower, heavier and/or you cant see as well. Thats what we tell ourselves in any case. The actual issue is complacency. That ball leaves the bat and you can see that it is going to drop just a bit to far away to catch, so you slow up and catch it on the first bounce. A part of you screams, "you could have got that", but you are pretty sure you would have just wasted a bunch of energy and still come up short. You know you have lost a few steps, you are 10, 15, 20 pounds heavier and you just dont have the range you used to, and you are right. In fact you do lose a step, maybe more and that is natural and unavoidable. Your physical skills decline and you cant do what you once did easily. Notice I said physical skills, your mental skills might start declining as well, as you begin to accept these limitations you begin to save your energy for other moments and before too long those 'other' moment become fewer and further between. Soon you just let the ball drop and THEN pick it up and throw it in.
I finally got tired of that, it isnt fun to just pick it up and throw it in. I decided to stop saving energy and start running after things, even though I figured I couldnt get to it. You know what happened, I started catching some of them, in fact, I caught MOST of them and as I caught them I got so pumped up that I also threw the goober out who decided he could take third on the heavy, gray-haired guy in left field. I also got so much joy out of throwing him out I hit a triple on my next at bat. Guys on the other team begin to say things like "Man, I love to see a big guy run those balls down, lets them all know what WE can do." This is a guy on THE OTHER team. Other comments come every now and then, "Man that guy in left field was on fire tonight", or "I never thought a big guy could run that well". Now, realize, I am not trying to tell everyone how GREAT I am, I am just trying to show the outcome when you go ahead and try, even when we REALLY think we wont succeed. I am going to see if this works in other areas of my life. I am going to try to make my decision about going after that ball at the LAST second instead of the FIRST so that I will be closer to the ball when the decision is made.
I am NEVER going to write another one of these preachy, touchy, feely, blog articles again. I think I am going to be sick.