The first week of April is just any other week in the year for most people. For me, on the other hand, it's a different story. The snow begins to thaw, the flowers begin to bloom, and my phone gradually progresses from buzzing once a day, to non-stop notifications signifying the beginning of the most exhilarating season of the entire year… Baseball Season.
Like most fanatics, I became addicted to “America’s Favorite Pastime” at an extremely young age. My dad took me to my very first baseball game at Coors Field at the ripe age of 3. To this day, I can still feel the chills that ran down my spine the first time I laid my eyes on the vast cathedral that sprawled out in front of me in the shape of a diamond. Soon after that, I remember watching Derek Jeter play for the Yankees on TV and thinking to myself, “I will be just like him some day.” I dreamt about donning my own jersey with number 2 on my back and hearing the crowd roar as the first woman to ever play in the MLB stepped up to the plate. Even at that age I could somehow understand the profound, timeless connection to the game that transcends generations and unites all baseball players and fans, past or present. From that day on, I was shamelessly hooked.
As time went on and life became much less simple, baseball became my teacher, and sometimes even my lifeline. Some of the most important life lessons I have ever learned have come from this game. Baseball taught me that you have to fail with grace.
Baseball is the only sport where you are considered successful when you fail 7 times out of 10. Just like in life, failing is inevitable and chances are you won’t be able to prevent it from happening. You can, however, control how you react to your failure. Take ownership of your failure and do everything in your power to learn from it and improve.
Baseball also taught me to focus only on what you can control in your life. There will be days where an umpire calls a third strike a ball, or a boss makes a decision you do not agree with. As much as it stinks, we can’t do anything about those external factors in life. The game taught me to focus my energy on what I CAN control, my reactions and my emotions. This empowers me to reduce stress and negativity in my life.
For you, this passion or these life lessons may not have come in the form of baseball. This feeling grips your soul anytime you pick up a paintbrush to paint the next Mona Lisa, or when you secure your goggles in place before you dive off of the block into the serene, familiar water of a pool. Seek out your passion and don’t underestimate the power it has to change your life for the better or comfort you when times get tough, just like baseball has done for me.