Staying in the Game

Baseball 2016Lately my family has been busy with baseball – if there’s not a game, there’s practice, and if there’s not practice, we’re outside in the evening pitching to my 8-year-old aspiring major leaguer.

Of course, with baseball comes the heartache of striking out. And I have to say, there’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching your child go through a pain that you, too, have endured.

As he’s dealt with his first strikeouts, I’ve tried to impart encouragement:

You have to believe in yourself – you have to believe that you can do it.

But you also have to work hard – you have to practice your swing, practice keeping your eye on the ball.

But no matter what happens, you have to remember that it’s supposed to be fun. Win or lose, strikeout or homerun, stay in the game because you enjoy it.

As I’ve repeated these phrases, it finally occurred to me that I needed to take a look in the mirror. I’m usually one who cringes at sports metaphors, so I apologize, but I realized I need to take my own advice.

I will inevitably strike out – rejections will come. But one strikeout doesn’t mean I’m out of the game forever. Neither does two strikeouts. Or ten.

I need to remember why I do it – because I love it, because now that I’ve finally followed this dream, I couldn’t imagine not pursuing it.

I need to continue to work hard – to practice my writing – and believe in my stories.

Whatever your game is – be it baseball or writing or something else entirely – don’t let one setback bench you forever. Get back in the game, work hard, have fun, and believe.

Always believe.

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