Last Try

Did you ever read an excellent blog post, but fail to immediately recognize the discussed topic's significance in relation to your own life?

That happened to me last week.

I've been reading the works of inspiring blogger Expat for more than a year now.

On Wednesday, he posted a story about life through a baseball memory.

In sum, it is about how he struggled as baseball player, but was able to hit the winning home run during a for-fun game--at a time when many changes were going on in his life including a move.

A short time later, the pitcher during the game who was also a good friend, died with his wife in a traffic collision.

Expat said that he has not played baseball since that glorious game with friends.

But he treasures how good it felt to "connect" on that sunny day.

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So, I read Expat's post, thought "that was really good," and went on with life.

Later, while walking the dog in the dark and thinking, it hit me.

Unlike Expat, my last baseball try was a strike out. 

One.  Two.  Three.

I took a big swing at the third pitch, but was not close to hitting it.

I was out.

The memory of that failure is vivid. 

I can still see the opposing team's red uniform, and the pitcher's jet black hair. 

I remember the heat of a late afternoon sun causing sweat to run down the side of head. 

I recall the unforgiving wind blowing dirt across the diamond and into the faces of the contestants--the breeze being synonymous with the plains states. 

I remember jogging back to the dugout, dejected with bat-in-hand, knowing that the season and my time as a "baseball player" were over.

Why had I not played baseball since that afternoon?

--------------------------

Watching our dog sniff each rock and pole for clues as to what other canines had walked by earlier in the day, I thought about the question.

And developed this answer:

Perhaps, my last at-bat, is symbolic for me as well.

I want to hold onto that lousy memory, and make sure that I don't end any other parts of my life with a swing and a miss. 

I never want to finish with a dejected retreat back to the dugout.

I don't want to be a failure as a father, husband, employee, or a son.

Maybe, the image of me striking-out on that day so many years ago acts as motivation.

I just hope that it is not fear.

On second thought, moving forward due to some fear is not so bad.
_____________________

Thank you to Expat and all of the other inspirational bloggers who daily challenge me to think and grow.

28 comments:

terri said...

I guess there are things in all of our lives from which we've walked away. You'll have me wondering now as to why I gave up certain things.

A Doc 2 Be said...

As you do for us, SD.

Make it a great day!

Elena said...

Very thought provoking. Thank you...Have a great weekend.

Expat From Hell said...

Wow, SD. I am honored that you let my posting have so much meaning in your own life. And, further, I think you have trumped me on how it has affected you. And also how you portray it in this terrific posting. Once again, well worth the visit here! EFH

SuziCate said...

Provacative post...Expat always make me think as well. He is certainly a weaver of words and wisdom.

ladyfi said...

Very thoughtful post! Amazing how dim memories can hold us back - or spur us on.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
Whoa..we MUST be in some sort of psychic-link realm today...LOL.

When you stop by my blog, you'll know EXACTLY what I mean.

;)

BTW...excellent post!

Have a great weekend

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

Well said Slam! Enjoy your weekend.

Clara said...

What a journey Slam. It got me thinking, a lot. Have a great weekend!

carma said...

I hope you do give it another "go" at some point. Very poignant post. As soon as I heard "inspiring blogger" I figured it wasn't my blog ;-)

James (SeattleDad) said...

Great post. And kudos to Expat for the quality post as well. Love it when baseball can be infused into posts.

Shannon said...

I really like this post.

What you mentioned happens to me frequently. I'm a ponderer and the significance doesn't hit me until later.

I hope you give it another shot again at some point. Even if it's just to goof off and have fun.

The Babaylan said...

we call it repression, an unconscious act of forgetting the "bad" memories. life is trivial. no one knows for sure what it is:)

Opus #6 said...

Baseball. Can you believe that even I, a former shy young lady, have a baseball memory? I remember the day in 3rd grade P.E. For some reason a bunch of kids were absent. As a shy little girl, I would disappear in the outfield and other players would cover for me, no question. But that day I was alone out there. Somebody hit a pop fly to the outfield. It soared for an eternity. It came to me, I moved to meet it, raised my glove and caught it. To my surprise.

I have always felt since that time that when needed, I would rise to the occasion.

A metaphor for life.

Vodka and Ground Beef said...

Sounds like you should get out there and take some swings. When I was in high school, I missed the pk that would have sent our soccer team to playoffs. It was six years before I took my next PK because I was so scared of missing again. Just recently, I was in a game, and I thought, what the hell? I'm older now. I made it, and now I feel slightly better.

Sorry, was that even remotely helpful? I think my Red Bull from this afternoon is still in charge of my brain.

malone8 said...

It's the same with life Slam. We try, we miss, we get up and go at it again.

It's never too late to make a new beginning.

Kristin said...

Beautiful post! My hubs played pro and he always holds onto his losses more so than his wins. I've always wondered why.

Dayana Stockdale said...

Posts like this remind me why we all love blogging. We get to find just the right person to learn from. If we want it, and click around long enough, the lesson/thought/inspiration we need will come. And today, this post is mine!

Theresa Milstein said...

How great that you have a hard memory of failure and learned something positive from it.

And how wonderful Expat wrote a post that caused you to reflect later.

Kimi said...

Your life story and Expat's, both are symbolically what I'm going through. I'm the hitter up to bat and as I get ready to hit, I think back to all the swings and misses I made, all the strikes I've struck out on, so I'm at a point in my life where I'm about to swing again. So do I give up just because I might strike out again on all three? Do I fear the ball hitting me in the face? It might, but I keep swinging. Thanks so much for sharing this story, though. You know what I'm going through in my life and I'm determined not to give in because of fear or failure, I just have to keep trying. I needed this stark reminder. Thanks again to you and Expat. Have a blessed day!

Audrey Allure said...

Great post! Now that I think about it, the last time I've ever played a tennis match - it was actually the best match (and longest) I've ever played. Though now I'm tempted to step back into the courts!

Miss Caitlin S. said...

Wonderful opposite take that blends perfectly with his reasons for not playing again. On a basic level, I can feel why you are so humiliated striking out. I have been athletic my entire life- I never had an interest to be a cheerleader or a dancer (dancer meaning school dance team, not exotic ha, just so we're clear) and I always, always was on a sports team. I was always the girl hitting the baseball to out field or scoring a 3-pointer in a close game. When college came around, I played a few rec sports but not mainly my athleticism has settled into making sure I work out at least 4 days a week. However, I have missed the thrill of being on a team. This last spring, I was excited to join my company's softball team and had a great image of me among all the executives, nailing a home run. Though it had been awhile since I played baseball, I figured it would be easy. Up to bat I went... strike 1... strike 2... strike 3. Out. I couldn't believe it! Not only did I forget how to properly swing. But I also forgot just how defeating it feels to walk back after striking out. I had long forgotten that feeling but it all came screaming back in that moment. The moral of my story: I started making time to de-rust (not a word, I know) on my own time. I would go to my Dad's house and ask if he wanted to throw the ball, etc. Not only was it fun to again have a sport in my life to work at, but it allowed me time with my Dad. Good time because sometimes we have trouble communicating properly. By the end of the season, I was one of the strong players on the team and I had just as much fun as I thought I would being on the team. Analogies about working hard, defeat, success and sports seem incredibly easy but that's because there's a lot of merit to them. I plan on playing next year due to my experience this year and I believe that the failure in the beginning makes it more exciting. Geez, sorry- I have written you a novel! Clearly, I enjoy this blog post :)

Miss Caitlin S. said...

Wonderful opposite take that blends perfectly with his reasons for not playing again. On a basic level, I can feel why you are so humiliated striking out. I have been athletic my entire life- I never had an interest to be a cheerleader or a dancer (dancer meaning school dance team, not exotic ha, just so we're clear) and I always, always was on a sports team. I was always the girl hitting the baseball to out field or scoring a 3-pointer in a close game. When college came around, I played a few rec sports but not mainly my athleticism has settled into making sure I work out at least 4 days a week. However, I have missed the thrill of being on a team. This last spring, I was excited to join my company's softball team and had a great image of me among all the executives, nailing a home run. Though it had been awhile since I played baseball, I figured it would be easy. Up to bat I went... strike 1... strike 2... strike 3. Out. I couldn't believe it! Not only did I forget how to properly swing. But I also forgot just how defeating it feels to walk back after striking out. I had long forgotten that feeling but it all came screaming back in that moment. The moral of my story: I started making time to de-rust (not a word, I know) on my own time.

Miss Caitlin S. said...

I would go to my Dad's house and ask if he wanted to throw the ball, etc. Not only was it fun to again have a sport in my life to work at, but it allowed me time with my Dad. Good time because sometimes we have trouble communicating properly. By the end of the season, I was one of the strong players on the team and I had just as much fun as I thought I would being on the team. Analogies about working hard, defeat, success and sports seem incredibly easy but that's because there's a lot of merit to them. I plan on playing next year due to my experience this year and I believe that the failure in the beginning makes it more exciting. Geez, sorry- I have written you a novel! Clearly, I enjoy this blog post :)

Virginia said...

Oh wow. I can relate to the "breeze being synonymous with the plains states". I live in one.

Thanks for the comment.

Abbie said...

Well said. Love the sentiment here.

Momma Fargo said...

Awesome post! Very thought provoking and good for all to read. You are awesome!

LisaF said...

Did you ever read an excellent blog post, but fail to immediately recognize the discussed topic's significance in relation to your own life?

Only every day. Your introspection is very poignant. Your fear of swinging and missing is exactly why you will hit a home run in your life as a husband, dad, son, etc.