Curve Ball by The Storyteller
June 19, 2017, Curve Ball
In college my dad was a long distance runner. As he told it, he was determined to be very good - if not great. He study the styles of the great distance runners of the time and adopted there style. He trained hard and competed in every track and field meet he could. His goal - winning the “Big Race” his senior year.
For him, the Big Race happened at the annual national track and field event hosted by his school (University of Chicago). Top athletes from schools across the country participated. By his junior year he realize being a world class long distance runner wasn’t going to happen. He kept training, however his expectations drifted down from winning the Big Race to placing in the top 5.
During his senior year he realized that at his best, top 5 was not going to happen. Change of plans. With no hope of placing in the top 5, he established a new goal. His goal - to lead at least once during the race. Figuring the only time that would be possible was at the beginning he developed a plan - start the race like it was 100 yard dash gain the lead and hope to finish.
Nineteen of the best collegiate runners in the country and my dad. Starting gun fired. He takes off like a scared rabbit. Result – he never even got close to being in the lead.
My dad told me his story as we talked about my baseball career being over at age 13. The problem - I couldn’t hit a curve ball. 23 strike outs in a row had nailed my fate. With his hand on my shoulder he finished by saying “Some things just aren’t meant to be” – and we drove home.
Moral – Sometimes driving home in silence is good.