I turned quickly to watch the pearl's parabola. I knew it was tagged simply by the sound created at contact. From the confines of the coaches box my left arm began twirling like a windmill sending our boys home. The ball field at O'Dea High School that spring afternoon twenty-eight years ago also housed their soccer field and track. On the far side was an ivy covered embankment that must have been 700 feet from home plate. That is where the ball rolled to a stop.
Mopping up after another 2-4-1 session last night I was asked by one of the gals a simple question.
"What keeps you going?"
She had framed the question with a preface of motivation and dedication, commenting that it was something she struggled with and thought I might have a solution, comment or inspirational quote with which to close our spirited session on a positive note.
Well, yes, I have some thoughts on the subject, I began, trying to hone-in one the one or two primary motivational factors that I find useful. After a few minutes it became apparent that we were deeply engaged in something important, the sharing of secrets, a verbal rite of passage, one of those key moments, the wisdom of which is for emergency use only.
I said that there comes a moment in every endeavor, especially endurance events, (in which your life and mine are categorized), that we are offered a decision. The choice to continue or cease. The option of paths, the right to persevere, the left to quit. That is the moment of definition as if defines who we are. It measures your courage as well as your awareness and presence. The funny thing, I continued, is when you choose to endure, to push past, to grow, a powerful series of actions take place in your mind, throughout your body and in your soul. You are given, as a result of your courage and wisdom to prevail, additional tools to make it happen. An attitude, a second wind, new meaning, hope. Everything changes. For the better.
It is one of the things that we practice every time we go out for training. GETTING TO THAT POINT. Because as we practice it we get better at it. The decision becomes easier, eventually to the point that quitting is no longer an option. WE DO NOT QUIT. WE FIGHT. WE ENDURE. WE GROW.
And that is my motivation. I want to push my body to the point of failure to see how I respond. Under what condition will I throw in the towel today? Because these are the answers I will face when the heat is seriously high, in battle, the marathon, Ironman, or in life. I do not want to be experiencing this wonderful phenomena for the first time with all the chips on the table. I want to get there, be aware of its arrival (and it WILL arrive) and then through my diligence and dedication to practice (training) deal with it in a positive, joyful and victorious manner.
I think she got the idea and in turning to leave said hello to a young gentleman who was waiting patiently to talk.
When he introduced himself I mentioned that the last time I saw him he was rounding third, heading home after a grand salami at O'Dea.
"You remember that?"
A couple of quick takes to get your Mojo workin:
While My Guitar Gently Weeps like no other.
Bike racing jargon explained in full.
Meet the Moment from Clif Bar.
Pic is of the 1984 Bainbridge JV Baseball team. I am at far left, Rob at center, back row. That ball was TAGGED!