I recall my first introduction to the game, at perhaps 11 years old. With little preparation or familiarity with the sport, my neighbor suggested we go out for the fastpitch team. It turned out my skills on the gymnastics mat didn’t directly transfer to the ball field. My effort was less than satisfactory, at best. I didn’t make the team that year.
And so I joined a slow pitch league for the summer … and played a lot of catch with my dad.
We spent hours in our long, dirt Hermantown driveway, throwing the ball back and forth — or at least trying to. Having not yet perfected the art of accuracy, I chose instead to throw the ball as hard as possible. I did throw hard, but more often than not didn’t hit the glove. Recognizing this, my father chose to implement a rule that required me to chase down any ‘wild’ throws I sent his way — or any way, for that matter. I ran a lot … a whole lot. Smart guy.
Eventually I learned, made the good fastpitch teams and had success in the game. As any child who grows up taking part in athletics will tell you, it was a blast — and well worth it. Life lessons were learned, friends were made and an appreciation for athletics and exercise was further embedded into my brain.
I was fortunate to have a dad who was very encouraging in all of my athletic endeavors — a super fan, if you will. He truly started me out on a path of appreciation for things that required me to ‘move that body’ and work hard. It’s a lesson that still resonates in my life today. For about a year now, this blog has served as a storytelling board for me while on my journey in the running/biking scene. These experiences have greatly enriched my life — and have continued to reveal new lessons of hard work and dedication. I’d like to think of it as a continuation of the lessons I learned out on the old, dirt Hermantown driveway — work hard until you get it right … and enjoy the run along the way.
For all of this, I’m thankful. Happy Father’s Day.