As I write this in the wee hours of the morning, I am having flashbacks (or foresight) of writing at these hours last season after long extra-inning affairs or late-night bus rides. However, this might be the only opportunity I have to make a post for a few days. I have felt so overwhelmed lately with working out, school, preparing to leave for the seven-month season, and prepping for my parents’ and sister’s arrival to Tampa this weekend. My sister is interested in my alma mater, The University of Tampa, so this is a combination of a college visit and seeing my family (with the exception of my brother, who is tied up with a ton of obligations as he tries to take over LeMoyne College during his junior year) for one last time before the season gets underway.
While I may be down to my last two MBA classes, the workload never seems to subside. I finished an eight-question business forecasting exam that yielded a 40-something sheet excel file (which translates to 91 pages when printed) a few hours ago. This was just in time for me to begin prepping for tomorrow night’s database exam. If anyone ever wants an explanation of entity-relationship diagrams and entity integrity, send me an email and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.
Workouts have been a grind these past two weeks. I have only been working out for 20 weeks now, and there is only so much lifting, throwing, and hitting one can do without actually getting close to a live situation without getting antsy. Needless to say I am ready to go to spring training.
However, while I had originally planned to delve more into pushing through the monotony of the offseason grind, I had a refreshing experience today that brought things back into perspective. I have a friend who is a pediatric occupational therapist, who works with young children in helping them overcome their physical disabilities. I had been wanting to go over and visit with some of her patients for a while, and finally got this opportunity today.
I went over to her office this afternoon to meet a six-year-old boy, who had a disability with his legs. This issue made it very challenging for him to stand up, especially when doing simple activities like throwing a ball. I showed up with some cushy Cedar Rapids Kernels balls that I had left over from a speaking engagement with elementary school kids in November, and gave them to him upon our meeting. He is a baseball fan, and he had been told a baseball player was coming to meet him.
I would later find out that this boy was usually expressionless and lethargic during his therapy sessions, but I would have never guessed it during my 10 minute interaction with him. His smile and talkativeness, while it may have been out of character for him, were clearly evident during my presence. To see the determination he exhibited during the therapy session (which was him throwing beanbag insects at cones, trying to knock them over), was incredibly motivational.
While I may have rough days and feel slow and tired, this boy is fighting just to walk and perform simple physical challenges. Knowing that there are many activities we take for granted as athletes that disabled individuals, like this boy, are trying to be learned is more than enough inspiration for me.
This encounter has rejuvenated my desire of pursuing my dream this upcoming season. Knowing this boy is grinding through his therapy to build his leg strength will push me further in my pursuits. Eli made me realize that as rough as things may be on the road this season and as dismal things may appear, my experience with him today makes it all worth it. Sometimes, all you need is 10 minutes with a child who does not have everything you do to appreciate the simple things in your life.