It is said that there are three phases to life that are difficult: Start-up, Keep-up, and Give-up.
Start-up is hard. Remember those days when you were so few in number anybody who raised their hand there in that first-grade classroom was on the team?
And in life, as in baseball, keeping up is harder. It was hard wasn’t it, those sweltering summer days when the swimming hole so strongly beckoned but it was also baseball practice which meant another afternoon on that hot, dry, dirty infield?
But hardest of all, and to all the end must surely come even as a seventh game of the World Series, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, two outs, count full, still means giving it up: the wind, the release, and the ball from your hand is sent on its way toward the most feared batter in baseball. Is it not this which you both anticipate and fear?
Each of those moments – choosing to raise your hand in the classroom to join the team; choosing to stuff your hand in your sweaty glove at practice to keep your commitment to the team; choosing – and you’ve really no other choice because you’re the closer – to release from you hand the ball to await the result at the plate – each of those moments is forever frozen in time.
And in each of them you delivered.
Which is what life is all about.