Thursday, October 1, 2009

"One in the Well"

I spent some time today thinking of an old baseball coach of mine. Dave was actually the father of a friend of mine, and he coached us for a number of years through a number of levels of baseball.

Dave had some demons in his past, but during the entire time I knew and have known him, I knew him only as a wise, sober, thoughtful, and powerful man.

His power was renown. While most coaches hit flies to the outfield from a spot near the pitcher's mound, Dave hit his at home plate. If the grounds crew happened to be working on the plate at the time, then Dave just moved back and hit his flies from behind the plate. And at high school level fields, he hit them out from this distance. His steely eyes and massive forearms belied a man that took his work and his play seriously, and his presence often inspired the opposing team, once we reached base, to inquire "exactly who is that guy?"

As stated, Dave had made some mistakes, and paid dearly for them in his years. That gave him a very deep perspective on life, and he was quick to impart a nugget of advice to help get inside your head and try and make you more successful.

He always said one particular thing that I've kept with me all of these years. As we were playing defense, often when things got tough, and especially in a situation in which we were getting killed, at every out we got he'd bellow out "that's one in the well."

It always struck me - regardless how bad the inning or how poorly things were going, that last out we got was a step forward; a tangible example of progress. And the progress was to be noted, and hopes to be raised for next step forward we would eventually take.

In tough situations in my life, I've often called this image up for myself. I might be going through a tough series of days, but upon completion of one of them, I have at times been able to conjure up Dave's booming voice and acknowledge putting "one in the well."

Life can be hard. At times it can be damn near unbearable. But the beauty of it is that our pain will not last forever. We do heal, grow, learn, and go on. But when we're mired in the strife, it is difficult to see any progress along the path. The inning we're currently in might be an unmitigated disaster, but if you look real hard, outs are getting made. We just need to take time to look for them, and recognize them.

And tell ourselves, "That's one in the well," while moving forward in our quest to get another.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to include any thoughts you may have. Know, however, that kiddos might be reading this, so please keep the adult language to yourself. I know, for me to ask that language is clean is a stretch...