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One Last Shot – Season 4, Post 2: Winter Reflections

by Paul Semendinger

February 3, 2021

***

I don’t know. Sometimes I think I’ll never fully grow up. I’m 53-years-old and I still think (or dream) (or hope) that the Yankees might give me a shot. I’ve never given up the dream that my nine-year-old self started dreaming.

I want to play big league baseball. I dream it all the time. Still.

And always.

***

I always have a catch with my dad on Father’s Day. My dad is 83. Yes, he can still throw. It’s amazing. He can throw and catch. I hope I’m still throwing and catching at 83.

Last Fathers’ Day, as he threw to me, my dad said, “You think the Red Sox could use me?”

I guess he’s still dreaming too.

This apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

***

I don’t just dream. I work hard to live my dreams.

I work hard to try to be the best principal in every way I can.

I work hard to be a writer.

I work hard to be a great husband and dad and son and so much more…

I give everything I do my best efforts.

I can’t stop.

It’s who I am.

I strive for excellence in everything. (I fall short 99.9% of the time, but still, I strive.)

Ever forward.

***

A few times a week, all winter long, I do some light stretches, I get my body warmed up, and I go into my basement and pitch baseballs (yes real hard baseballs) into a net.

I throw and throw and throw some more. I pitch as if I was outside and as I get warmed up I throw the ball as hard as I can – as if I was pitching outside.

I love that net, it catches everything.

I don’t throw for most of October, November, or December, but as soon as Christmas passes, I’m throwing again. I started this training program (one I designed for myself) last year when my boys gave me this net for Christmas.

I turn the music up loud and start pitching, over and over again. Bucket after bucket of balls. 25 pitches per bucket. Then 25 more. On and on. I throw harder and harder. I work my curve ball (or what I think, or hope, is a curve ball). I try new deliveries and new ideas.

I throw and throw and throw.

On and on and on… and into forever.

***

I turn the music up loud and as I’m throwing, I am also driving my family crazy.

(I’m sometimes not the easiest guy to live with.)

***

I know the Yankees won’t come calling, but I’m unwilling to fully admit that.

I’ll be pitching for two baseball teams this year and the season is coming soon.

I’m not a great pitcher. Most times I’m probably not even a good pitcher, but there isn’t anyone who tries harder, who gives it more than I do.

If I’m going to play ball, there is only one way I know, by working to be the best I can be, however good or bad I am.

If I’m going to fail, and I fail a lot, I’ll fail while daring greatly.

I’m not great at succeeding, but I am great at daring greatly.

***

To me, life is all about giving it everything we have.

I don’t want to wake up in a year, or in ten years, or fifty years (at 103-years-old) and say, “I wish I had tried harder.”

That would kill me.

There can be no regrets if we give it all that we have whenever we can.

***

I know the Yankees won’t come calling.

I know they won’t. They’d never want me or need me.

But, still, they might…


***

Previous Season Posts:

Season One – The Complete First Season

Season Two – The Complete Second Season

Season Three – The Complete Third Season

Current Season:

One Last Shot – Season 4, Post 1: What A Difference A Year Makes!

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