Last week, I got to travel to Houston with a few other dads and our sons to see the Astros play the Yankees. It was a great experience, but what was even better was getting there early to watch batting practice.
The best place to watch batting practice at Minute Maid Stadium is in the right field stands. There, you are pretty close to the playing field and the players are cranking home runs into the stands, giving everybody there a decent chance of getting a baseball – the ultimate souvenir.
Reflecting back on our scramble for baseballs, here are 8 life principles reinforced by the experience:
- When you make a plan and stick to the plan, you achieve what you set out for. We are all busy. To make this memorable outing a reality, we had to look at available dates, pick a game, put it on the calendar, and commit to making sure nothing dislodged this from our calendar.
- Life is much more fun when seen through the eyes of children. Certainly, the adults wanted to catch a baseball, but the kids acted like catching a ball would change the world. Seeing this through their big, hopeful, expectant eyes was priceless.
- It’s better to be actively involved in life than just being a spectator. We were positioning ourselves for the “the prize”, leaping across rows of chairs, wrestling with others, and watching in expectation for the opportunity to beat out everyone around us. The actual baseball game was somewhat of a letdown compared to that.
- There’s a payoff in paying attention. Because the balls were coming off the bats in 3 second intervals, there wasn’t time to check Facebook status updates. Doing so could cause you to miss the prize or get smacked in the face.
- Sometimes, “no pain, no gain” is true. Those balls were coming fast. Unless you came with a glove (which is shameful for grown men) your hand stung from the smack of the ball. Most walked away with no pain and no gain.
- Sometimes we experience pain without gain. I watched one guy reach for a ball, get stung by it, only to watch it drop into the hands of the guy in the row in front of him.
- Sometimes we experience gain without pain. See the guy who got the ball in point 6.
- Life is just better with others. We laughed hard and made memories that’ll last a lifetime. I can’t imagine doing that alone.