I've spent a lot of time in my life as a mom sitting behind the backstop of a baseball or softball diamond. All of my kids have played (or still play) and I've been lucky enough to have the time available to help coach our youngest in fastpitch.
There is no place on a baseball or softball diamond more humbling than the batter's box. Every player that steps in the box does so knowing it's more likely that they will strikeout than get on base. But when they do get their bat on the ball? Get a solid base hit? Maybe even go yard?
Well, that moment is hard earned, hard fought, hard won magic.
And like so much of what happens on any given diamond around the world, from Smalltown, USA rec ball to Big City MLB ball, it's one of the infinite moments in baseball and softball that serve as metaphors for life.
Step in the box. Swallow your fear.
Don't just watch the ball go by - swing. Make an attempt.
Two strikes isn't the end. Keep trying and battle back.
A walk is as good as a hit for your team.Play for your team, not yourself.
The ump isn't perfect. When circumstances go wrong, control what you can control.
Strikeouts are part of the game. Learn from it, listen to those you trust, and try again.
ALWAYS try again.
I'm thinking a lot about life and baseball and the grit it takes to keep going when things get tough. Maybe it's a simple way to look at the valleys of life, to translate them into metaphorical at-bats or two-out rallies or bottom-of-the-ninth-comebacks.
Maybe it's a way for me to hold on to that wondrous childhood optimism born from the fleeting, glorious moments playing ball, from hearing the crack of your bat hit the ball to making the diving catch that ends the game.
It's like that never-ending at-bat, the one where I'm sitting at a full count, just fouling off over and over and over again and I... just... can't... finish.
But Marianne (or, Mary-Kate; both names work; you can even call me Ryan... one of the students where I work adamantly insists to everyone that's what my name is), you say, puzzled. That book is on Amazon. It's out there for sale. It's done... isn't it?
But... when I added the link to the epilogue at the back of Team Peabrain, I re-ran the manuscript through my editor, ProWritingAid.
And the errors! So, so, so many errors. Embarrassing errors. Like playing-deep-at-3rd-on-a-bunt-call-embarrassing errors. (E 5!)
I've been cleaning those up and getting the manuscript ready to reload onto Amazon. But, as it always happens, life keeps getting in the way of writing. So... consider this both a sincere thank you for your patience in getting a cleaner version of the book as well as a humble apology for putting an error-addled mess on Amazon in the first place.
If you didn't get the download link for the epilogue to Team Peabrain, click on the image below or click here.
It's summer in my part of the world... time for beach reads! Check out these books in June!