Sunday, October 2, 2011

JUST DO IT

"What we think or what we know
or what we believe is, in the
end, of little consequence.
The only consequence is what we do"
- John Ruskin


I used to play women's softball. It was great exercise, a lot of fun and I got to meet new people. Until winning became everything and we purchased "professional" outfits. I like to win as much as the next person, and we should all strive to be winners. But, I didn't like sacrificing my enjoyment on the home-plate-alter. It wasn't my goal to win first place. My goal was, well, as I said, exercise. Fun. New people. I wanted to run and laugh and play and have a good time. I wanted to relieve stress. To forget about my 40 hour a week job. To forget my bank account balance. To forget I had just moved to a state where I knew no-one. Really. No-one.

I soon realized my team was out for blood. And, have you seen a fast pitch in women's softball? There's nothing soft about it when it hits you. I had inadvertently gotten into the NASCAR lane driving a Mini Cooper.

The strategic game had arrived; we were playing the #1 team. They were bad. Not bad players. Bad in the good player sense, the excellent player sense, the trophy winning sense. They had the glare in the stare that would intimidate the Merrill Lynch Bull.

Last half of the last inning, 2 outs, game tied, I'm up. We had a (wo)man on first and one on third. "Bunt" the coach says in my ear. Fear struck at the heart of me. I didn't mind swinging away. I mean that ball came so fast that I didn't even have to swing hard to get it out of the infield. But, bunting? Coach had taught us to wait for the pitch then jump around facing the pitcher gripping the bat toward the tip with one hand and the handle with the other. This stance put my mid-section in direct line with that missile hurling toward me.

The wind-up. The pitch. I meant to jump into the bunting stance, but my body wouldn't move. Strike one. The glare, the wind-up, the pause, the pitch whizzed by. Strike two. Coach jumped up out of the bull (cow?) pen. "If you're just going to stand there, SWING AWAY!!" He didn't have to tell me twice. I swung, hit a line drive between first and second base giving the runner on third time to score.

We won, but I didn't care. I wasn't having fun. From my Coach's perspective, I didn't follow through on my training...I didn't "DO", I didn't take action. From my perspective, I hadn't bowed out when I realized this game wasn't for me..I didn't "DO", I hadn't taken action.

I had let the coach down and I had let myself down. I thought I should quit, I knew I should quit, I believed I should quit. But, I did nothing. I played because others thought I should. I learned valuable lessons that day. Be true to what you believe and take action on those beliefs. Be a DOer.

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