If We Learn From Failure Then I’m a Genius


March 5, 1997
 Wednesday

Today was truly “one of those days.”  As every day since Hoke got his license two years ago, I was waiting for him to pull up in front of my house in his grey Thunderbird.  This ritual occurs usually by 7:55.  My watch read 8:02, but I knew he would show… eventually.  By the time 8:05 came I was worried.  I called Hoke’s house, but no one was there.  Had he said something to me about this, and I had just forgotten?  Luckily Dad was still at home, and he took me up before going to work.  I was late.  Late for Trig.  Not good.

Are you wondering what happened to Hoke?  Are you guessing where he could have been, as much as I was when I entered a quiet school, everyone in class?  Alright, I’ll tell you.  Hoke didn’t wake up until 9:25 today.  He called his mom when he did wake up, and said, “I’m still at home!”  She was pretty mad, but Hoke got to school for second hour.

Now on to the second exhibit of today’s utter futility.  I had studied all week for this Trig test.  I thought I really knew it.  You have to understand, I prepared the best I possibly could have.  We got the tests back today, and on mine was a big, red “60%”  I wanted to be angry, but there was no one to be mad at.  I felt (and still feel) a mixture of confusion and helplessness.  I have studied nada for some tests and gotten A’s.  On this test–a test I truly studied understood and tried hard on–I bombed.  I don’t understand how I did so badly.  It really isn’t getting an “F” on a test I’m thinking about (I’ve gotten plenty of those through the years).  It’s the irony of the whole thing.

Baseball has barely begun, and I feel myself burned up already.  Don’t worry, I am not going to quit or anything.  Yet it wears on me just the same.  More accurately, it is myself I am tiring of.  I tire of not being able to do what everyone is doing, like they do it.  I desperately wish I could, but I cannot.  This week is almost over, and two more remain of training before games.

I wish I could be a more competent athlete, because I want to be a part of the team–actually being a help to them during the season–and not just pretending and fooling myself into believing I am a baseball player.

It is not the coaches I refer to.  They are as nice as coaches get.  They are supportive, and know just how far we can be pushed.  As I knew, even before the season began, the problem is a mixture of myself and indirect actions of others.  I mean simply that I see what they can do, and I try to mimic it, but it never works.

Again, I will not quit.  This experience on the whole is a very positive influence on me.  I need to go through such a test.  It can’t hurt to get in better shape, and maybe I’ll learn a few things.  I do wish I could offer more to my team, but God didn’t give me those gifts.  He instead gave them to Kerry Wood, or Alex Rodriguez.  My biggest problem–and fear–is that I will let down or hinder my team.  I never wanted that, and I hope it never happens.  I only wanted to play because I love the game of baseball.

Wish me all the luck you can,

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