The coach was always clear, make sure you get your feet down firmly because that was the foundation for everything that followed. You get some strength from the kick, but put your foot down in the wrong place and your arm won’t get the ball across the plate. You more likely were going to take off the batters head. A foundation for everything that follows.
My belief system has always been about the ability of people to help others. You don’t need to be an expert, only willing to stand in the box and let someone try their fastball. You can learn to do just about anything, even when you are convinced that you have no talent. Doesn’t mean your curve ball will get you a major league contract, but maybe you learn something about yourself that you didn’t consider. And just because I have read a book on tumor removal and can ask questions intelligently, you don’t want to hand me a knife.
Life has thrown a few curves in my direction. Headed straight for my helmet and forcing me to fall directly to the ground in both anger and fear. Sometimes I got up, sometimes I’m still staring at the clouds wondering when that hand will arrive to pick me up.
The first time I ever was hit in the head I was 7 years old. Stupid pitch that got me before I could move. My mother screeched, my father stood up and checked me out and sent me along my way to first base. [these days they would pull me from a game and start the concussion protocol!] Lesson learned? Always keep your feet planted but ready to move quickly to avoid the crush to the side of the head!
Life is full of curves. Gentle, meandering bends in the path around a pond. Harsh, blind round-a-bouts that block your view of what comes down the lane. They can make you cautious and thrilled at the same time.
I’ll admit that lately the curves have been too much. Coming too fast and my reaction time isn’t what I once had. No longer crouched behind home plate waiting for the next pitch to hit my glove. It’s more like the time I went to a batting cage and sat with my equipment on to learn how to handle 90 mile-an-hour pitches coming directly at my face. [my dad was right, it helped. But scared my 12 year old self!]
Cancer is like a pedal car going around that blind curve. Slow progress that still doesn’t always allow for good footing. Lately it has taken my humor and that bothers me more than anything. Reality means dealing with life rather than joking about it.
This week scared me in a different way. My foundation showed some cracks and the flat surface now bends. Curves formed in the wood and now I’m wondering how many more at bats I get before the cracks splinter and pieces fly into the stands.
The screams from my mother will be different. More people are watching as well, the crowd is still small but they cheer louder than a full stadium. But soon they will leave the game upset the home team lost.