The flu, bitterness, and baseball slumps


Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I planned on starting the year off right. Start writing again. Start exercising again – moving towards something that resembled training eventually. And the hardest thing of all for me – eat right.

Most of all I wanted to get my attitude straightened out.

It wasn’t that my attitude was negative, it was just that I realized I had begun to let a lot of things slide. And one day I realized that I wasn’t doing anything anymore other than the things I had to do.

You hear baseball analysts talk a lot about slumping players who are “squeezing the bat too tight.” They’re so focused and so determined to break their slump or to win the big game that it undermines their success. They aim the barrel of the bat at the ball flying at them at 100mph – instead of relaxing, swinging easy, and doing what comes naturally for big league ball players. I think I’ve been trying to plant the ball right back in the middle of the pitchers forehead. Bitterness doesn’t help you win.

Tension prohibits your ability to be yourself and that means it prevents your best effort.

When I was a wrestler I was at my best when I relaxed and trusted my ability and my training.

I got excited about the New Year: work, family, triathlon, church, reading, writing, trips, loosening my grip and swinging for the fence again.

Then I got the flu.

The full blown H1N1 flu…with a double ear infection on top of it.

I laid in bed for several days, green with sunken black eyes shivering then sweating, but with plenty of time to think. Unfortunately the rest of you came down with the flu too. So for a week we’ve all been medicated. A gravelly chorus of coughing mixed with whimpering and soft crying. It’s been a miserable week at home.

In the time I spent in bed I realized a lot of things about myself. Maybe it was the fever. Nothing makes you want to be great like being helpless and at your worst.

It’s time to relax. Be myself. And trust in who I am.

I took a pad of paper and wrote whatever came to mind about 2014. A lot of it was focused on “lies I believe about myself” and committing to letting go of those and turning anger and bitterness into something positive. I wrote about the dream mommy and I have always had to retire back near Seabrook Island, about swimming and fishing on the ranch between Austin and San Antonio. Warm thoughts in January.

After all, the only thing the world can’t determine for you is your attitude.

I have a lot of things I want to do in 2014. This morning the sun is shining.

I have a feeling this is the year the ball jumps off the bat and leaves the park.

I love you,

– Daddy