Life is like a baseball game. Sometimes, you're a fan, sitting in the stadium for an easy Saturday afternoon at the ballpark. Concession people run up and down the stadium stairs, shouting, "Get your popcorn right here!" Little boys sit with their fathers to watch their heroes in action, pounding their fists into the palm of their gloves in hopes of catching a foul ball. And, the fans cheer and come together, singing, "Take Me out to the Ball Game."
But, sometimes you're a player in the game. And, sometimes it doesn't matter how well you've played the first eight innings. It can all come down to the very last one. Sometimes it can come down to the very last pitch.
Everyone agreed that 2020 was supposed to be our best season yet. Then, one of our biggest rivals secured this phenomenal rookie pitcher. Nicknamed "The Rona," he was called up to the majors just a few months ago. Known for his shutouts, he was already having a banner year, causing panic throughout the league. Striking out players all season, "The Rona" took his opponents out one by one with his deadly combination of fastballs, sliders, and curveballs.
Today's game was no different, only the score was closer than others in the past. Even though we were the hometown team, "The Rona" still made for a tough game. Our last chance to score, it was the bottom of the ninth and we were up to bat. Down by only one run, the bases were loaded. But, we already had two strikes against us. His first pitch was a fastball. It just came out of nowhere, causing a quarantine lifestyle. The second pitch, a slider, forced parents to work from home and homeschool their children.
We held our breath. Then, came the wind-up. And, just like the others, it was the last pitch that really did us in. “The Rona” threw his famous curveball, causing the unemployment rate to reach unprecedented levels. Before we knew it, the game was over. Disappointed, our fans slowly emptied the stadium and retreated to their cars.
Life sure can throw a mean curveball. As prepared as we think we are, life can keep us on our toes with unexpected challenges and hardships. But, the keys to playing the game well are using good form and keeping your eyes on the ball.
Don't feel like you always have to swing for the fences. Just focus on making contact. It's just as good to get a base hit to stay in the game.
When you're on deck, take some practice swings to keep your body loose and warm. Once you're at the plate, plant your feet. Then, take a deep breath. With your head, back hip and back knee aligned, focus on your form. Then, watch the pitcher closely before taking a healthy cut. Keep your eyes on the ball. Sometimes the pitches will come in too high; sometimes too low. Sometimes they'll be too far out of reach. The right pitch will come to you. You don't have to strain to meet it. Just be patient.
It's all about keeping your eyes on the ball. Once you connect with the ball, you'll know if it was a solid hit. It will just sound right the minute you hear the crack of the bat. And, it will feel right. In fact, it will feel effortless.
Baseball requires a lot of patience, power, speed, and skill. Like baseball, life can be tricky. Sometimes you hit the ball out of the park. Sometimes you're lucky if you get on base. You win some; you lose some.
I believe you have everything within you to handle anything life throws at you. So, keep your head in the game and your eyes on the ball, my Pineapple, and you will always be a winner.
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.