Get Jealous or Get Better?


When I was in middle school I loved baseball and wanted to play on our traveling team.  Growing up I lived in the country and was surrounded by corn fields, marshes and creeks.  There were very few other kids to play with.  The friends I did have were farmers and worked very hard much of the summer.  So when it came to playing baseball, I had very little experience.  The kids that lived in town all knew each other and played together all summer long.  On top of all that, I was short, a little chubby and VERY slow.

I remember going to practice, day after day, I never missed one.  Most of the time I was the kid that filled a gap that existed where a “star” player was missing because he couldn’t make practice that day.  On game days, I would sit and watch the other kids play.  I never got in the game, never.  This pattern continued through 6th, 7th and 8th grade.  Although I had hit puberty, thinned out and grew like a weed, I was never considered as a real option at any position.

One day during my freshman year of high school, the “star” catcher had detention.  The coach was mad because that was the day we were going to practice stealing bases.  Since he was not there and I was slow, no way I needed to practice base running, the coach decided that I should fill in as catcher.  My job would be to try to catch the fast kids as they attempted to steal second base.

As the kids started running towards second base, one after the other, I threw them out.  As it turned out, I had a canon for an arm and the coach took notice.  Three days later I was named the starting catcher of our JV team, a position I only held for my freshman year.  Once I tasted the field, i was unstoppable. I out worked a senior that was the starting catcher on the varsity team and the following year and I took his position.

It didn’t come easy.  I had to work for it.  I stayed after practice for hours every night as I’d practice blocking balls in the dirt. All the bruises, cuts and scrapes were worth it.  By the end of my sophomore year I was honored with the teams “golden glove” and “team spirit” award.

So why do I share this story with you today?  It’s because I needed to remind myself that in life we have a choice.  We can look at our circustamces and make excuses or we can look at them and find a way to “get better”.  Today I am going to challenge myself and you to take a look at the areas of your life that aren’t going the way you had planned and ask yourself what you can do to “get better”.

Today I promise myself that I will no longer seek an excuse, rather I will seek a solution.  I promise that I will do more than the mediocre person, I promise to be willing to get dirty, get bruised, stay longer and out work my competition as I pursue my dreams.  I hope you will too.

Have a great day

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