It is important for any athlete, performer or anyone in recovery to stay focused. Baseball taught me to do just that. Now, with the stress of the playoffs ahead, our 1987 baseball team had to concentrate on the goal at hand. We had to heighten our awareness. We began this task and won three more games in a row. The final game was here. I will never forget being on that mound in the final game.
I help people with addiction and when I do, I often ask clients to think of something they really enjoy doing. Then, I often have them do a fun group activity. When we process the activity, I ask if anyone thought about drinking or drugging during the activity. I have yet to hear someone reply yes. The idea of distracting oneself can be a very useful tool when an addict is having thoughts or cravings. In addition, staying in the moment whether it’s a ball game or recovery is a wonderful thing.
There were thousands of fans cheering and sitting on the edge of their seats throughout the game, so I heard. But, I was so focused on my catcher that I never heard my mom, dad or friends yelling for me. We were leading 5-4 going into the last inning. Our team was on the verge of either winning or losing the State title. I walked the first batter. The winning run for the other team was now at the plate with no outs.
Before I knew it there two outs but runners were on second and third. That meant any base hit to the the outfield would most likely end our dreams. So, with three balls and two strikes on the batter my catcher called for me to deliver a curve ball. It started out and away, out of the strike zone, but incredibly dropped back in with the umpire calling out strike three! The only thing I remember from that point on was my catcher running out to me and jumping into my arms. I had never felt so happy, pure sober happiness! With the support of my team just like the fellowships of AA or NA we had achieved our goal. Life is so much better when we involve others in our journey!!