My high school baseball coach used to tell me all the time, “You can’t play the game scared.”
For awhile I had no idea what this meant. Of course I was scared…scared of striking out, scared of letting my team down, scared of disappointing my coach, and, arguably most importantly, scared of embarrassing myself in front of all the girls that used to come watch us play. What the heck did he mean “you can’t play scared,”…I didn’t know how to play any other way! Obviously he recognized this in me, and gave me that advice for a reason.
About a year ago, I started to understand what he meant. I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but it clicked. Lucky for me, it clicked four years too late.
Or did it?
Maybe by “the game” he meant more than just the game. Maybe this was one of those cliche, Lifetime movie type of moments where a seemingly small lesson turned out to be a much larger life lesson…it turns out it was.
Sure, “the game” meant baseball, but it also is much more than that. The game is everything we do…the game is LIFE.
To live scared is to retreat. To live scared is to limit your potential. To live scared is to rob the world of what you have to offer it. To live scared is to avoid risk…and without risk, there is no reward. You cannot hit the ball if you do not swing.
Am I still working on not living scared? Yes.
Have I taken risk and failed? Yes.
Will you fail? Yes.
Will we fail more than once? Fuck yes.
But I can guarantee that we will not succeed without taking risk and learning from our failures.