The Curveball Blessing

November 4, 2017

Sweet-Spot Pitch

Have you ever been going through this thing called life and everything is rocking along like a sweet-spot pitch? You know the pitch (or in this case, pitches) that if you swing, you’re sure to knock it out of the park.

I love those times of life. I often feel overwhelmed by the opportunity coming my way, yet ready to take the pitch. It’s as if the whole scene is played out in slow motion. The “sweet-spot” pitch is coming (high and outside for me), you’re laser-focused on the ball, and in one fluid motion you swing, torquing your hips just right and connecting the bat with the ball–

Out-of-the-park!

BAM! That’s what I’m talking about. 

Unfortunately, in life, you get no reprieve. There aren’t other batters. As soon as you run through home plate, it’s your turn to bat, again. 

Out of breath, you stand with perfect form, ready to swing the bat at the next opportunity.

It’s not the best pitch, but it was coming too fast to notice. Committed. Swing. Hit. The scene is similar to the one above except this time the ball hit the fence and landed in the park. (Maybe it wasn’t so sweet, but it connected.) You race around the bases because less than a home run is unacceptable in your mind. You’ve got this.

With a few missed plays in the field and a “hotbox” experience between third and home, you did it. Head first slide across home plate.

In-park home run!

As soon as you stand up and attempt to brush off, “Batter up!” 

It’s you again.

This time all looks great, but you swing with all of your might and…

STRIKE!

Disappointed in yourself and feeling as if you let those around you down, you step outside the chalk lines. You need a second to think. So, you hit your bat on the bottom of your cleats a few times and consider how the pitch was misperceived. In just a few seconds, you feel like you know now what you missed. You learned something new about life’s pitches; you’ve got this. Then, back in the batter box, ready for the next opportunity to come across the plate. 

The pitch is thrown. Feeling confident. You’re about to nail it!

However, this time it has an intense downward spin, causing the ball to drop suddenly and swerve outside just as it comes across the plate.

Curveball!

STRIKE!

Shock! Emotions. Disappointment.  

Your mind is now playing tricks on you.

How did I miss that?

Why didn’t I see that coming?

How might I better prepare for the upcoming pitch of life? 

The Curveball Blessing

I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know, we don’t get the sweet-spot pitch or an “in range” pitch all of the time. There are many times curveballs are thrown to rattle our mind, heart, and soul. It’s not as if I expect to hit a home run every time I’m up to bat, but let’s be honest, who walks up to the plate planning to strike out?

That isn’t my personality. However, life has an interesting way of grounding us.

Slowing us down,

Giving us breaks before the next “batter up” moment, and

Showing us that there is “game time” and there is time outside of the game. 

So, might it be that curveballs are a blessing in disguise?

Don’t feel defeated. Focus on what you need to at the time. Then, get ready for the next pitch.

It might not be your sweet-spot, but it might be an unexpected out-of-the-park home run?

Who knows what life might throw our way?

In fact, in reality, it might be a strikeout. 

No matter what? You’re the only batter swinging at opportunities and curveballs thrown your way and with each pitch you’re learning through life–the L in R.E.A.L. So, when the time comes, step up to the plate with confidence and…

Play Ball!

*Trust me, when I step up to the plate after a curveball, the plan is to send the ball sailing–grand slam! 

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2 Comments

  • Reply Curtis Howe November 5, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    You’ve written about my year so far starting out in administration. The perpetual nature of incoming pitches, the inevitability of whiffing at a pitch….. getting dirty with a slide to score a run! What a fun analogy to play out, and crafted in such an engaging way. This post came at a time in my year I really needed to read it! Thank you for that.

    • Reply Tara M Martin November 5, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      Curtis, thank you so much. Wheww…I’m guessing you and I have a lot in common; I, too, am a rookie administrator. Thanks again for reading and sharing your personal connections.

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