There are a lot of things that are fun. Going out to dinner and a movie is fun, but it’s generally not a memorable pleasure unless you’re a hardcore movie buff. I’m not.
There are a lot of things that give me great pleasure at this point in my life. Most of those things involve my wife, my children and as of late, my work and the interactions with the people there. It wasn’t that long ago that nothing gave me pleasure and I was sure I would never enjoy anything again. Those days are behind me and I have found a renewed love for certain activities. My family, friends, and cooking are at the top of the list. I suppose writing belongs in that group but I see it as a way to express my feelings whether those feelings be positive or negative. The physical act of writing does bring a small level of pleasure but it’s the sharing that I love more than sitting and typing. Perhaps it’s because I don’t type well.
I came up with this idea for a blog post this morning when I was thinking about baseball and how much I used to love to play the outfield. When I was a kid my brother Dan and I would go to the park not far from our house and he would hit my fly balls all afternoon. I couldn’t think of any better way to spend a day than shagging baseballs. As I got a little older I would head to the park on many summer days to play baseball with a group of friends. Sometimes we had enough for a full game, sometimes we’d have to modify the rules for a total of twelve kids. One thing was a constant, I played center field. I was the fastest kid around and I could cover a lot of ground. Running full speed through the grass to track down a deep fly ball was about to most fun a kid could have at 12 years old.
When I turned 13 I joined up with the Babe Ruth league in Rotterdam. I found out what fast pitch was and never had a coach who could teach me to hit. I guess when your sons are on the team it’s more important to help them become mediocre pitchers than it is to teach the other kids how to play baseball. I lobbied the American League to adopt a DCF to go along with the DH so I could just play the field and not have to hit. They didn’t respond.
I still have memories of running through the grass in the sunshine to catch a ball that no one thought I’d get to. I still get pleasure from those thoughts. I just couldn’t hit. Thanks for nothing Mr. Tama and Mr. Lawrence.
I got lucky one day in High School when a teacher was talking about a six-minute mile. I did some quick math in my head and based on what I remembered about my time for a quarter-mile in gym class in Middle School I declared that I could run a six-minute mile. So the bet was that I go out after school to the track and run a mile by myself. Never having trained, running on basketball sneakers and with no acquired sense of pace I ran a 5:57 mile. The victory got pizza for the class but In that bet I won a future. It got the track coach Mr. Nelson Griffin (a great coach and great man) and the athletic director Mr. Ray Vacca to convince me to go out for cross country, and eventually track my senior year. Thank you Mr. Gerry Ostrander for taking the time at the end of your day to discover my running talent. I’ll never forget you. A thanks also goes out to Mr. Jesse Robinson, the Assistant Principal who took an interest in my success since I had been in his office often for disciplinary issues. He used to come to the meets to see my races and actually followed my results into college, which I would have never attended if it were not for some outstanding educators. It was when Mr. Griffin asked me where I was going to college that I even considered going to college. They don’t need guns, they need support and to be paid.
I had no intentions to write this post this morning, and I had no idea this was the direction it would take. I wrote the title and was going to write the first couple of sentences and save it as a draft. Here I am 30 minutes later about to post. Thinking about something pleasurable from the past took me someplace else and it reminded me of some of the people who made a difference in my life.
Take an interest in someone’s life. You may just help them discover something in themselves, and you may even discover something in yourself.
I am encouraged further to get chefs 4 chefs off the ground. I’ve been without a sous chef for about a month and time has been tight. I’m about to make a hire so I’ll have a few extra minutes to touch base with those of you that have already reached out to offer assistance. If you want to get involved send me a note. firstname.lastname@example.org