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Baseball: Come Back Wins Vs. Blowouts

Baseball: Come Back Wins Vs. Blowouts
Friday, October 12, 2012
In my other blog, "Chipping Away," I talk about improbable comebacks in baseball, but I'm putting a different spin on that idea here. I've had stretches of time in my life where everything just seemed to fall right into place. Things came easy and I felt like I was on top of the world. I thought that things would continue to come easy, but it never worked out that way. When I got out of the hospital, I found myself totally depressed. All I could seem to think of were the great times I had at college, and I felt like all that had been taken away from me because of my mental illness. Now, I'm nothing like that and I never think that way.

I actually don't remember most of the great things I used to remember so vividly anymore, because now those things don't seem all that important. In a single baseball game, any team is capable of destroying any other team. Every team wins in blow out fashion many times a year. But blow outs aren't what gets a team to the playoffs. It's not all that uncommon when (nearing the end of a 162 game regular season) the difference between going to the playoffs or not going to the playoffs comes down to a single game. In that final stretch run, nobody remembers the blowouts. That's because great teams find ways to win improbable games whereas not so great teams never seem to 'steal' some games throughout the season and win when they odds say they shouldn't have won.

Nobody remembers the blow outs, but nobody forgets the improbable come backs. Blow outs are fun to watch, at the time, but they're not really the most entertaining baseball games. Improbable victories, on the other hand, are hard to watch--until the team somehow finds a way to win when all hope seems lost. That's because coming back from behind is so much harder than blowing someone out. Improbable comeback shows the team's mental toughness, which is crucial to success in any sport. Blow outs--while entertaining at the time--are forgettable, just like all the time I spent smoking pot with my friends, thinking I had it all made.

I have old friends who don't remember some of my favorite memories from college, but they haven't forgotten how things looked pretty bleak for me, yet I managed to turn things around. When you're going through the recovery process, even the simple things in life can seem so difficult. It's natural to think back to when things came easy and wonder if anything will ever come easy again. You can't only focus on what came easy in the past. Good memories that came before a mental illness kicks in seem to make things worse early on in the recovery process. We can fool ourselves into believing that--if not for our mental illness--things would still be coming easy. That's just not the case, and I had to learn that the hard way.

One of the lyrics to one of my songs is 'nothing worth having comes easily.' I really believe that. Since any team can blow out any team many times during a season, blow outs aren't all that impressive. They come easily. But come backs show what you're really capable of. Recovering from a mental illness is one of the harder things to succeed at in life. For too long, I thought that it was the things that used to come easy that made me the person I wanted to be. I thought that my self esteem was reliant upon things coming easy to me, but it wasn't. The reason I currently have the self esteem and confidence I thought I'd lost forever is because that self esteem and confidence comes from knowing how much I've overcome and how it's changed me for the better. I don't need validation from anything or anyone else anymore. I know who I really am because getting through a really rough part of my life has shown me what I'm really capable of--and what I wasn't capable of in the past. And the people in my life have seen that too, which is a great feeling.

Overcoming adversity and making Improbable comebacks reveals your true character. Blow outs don't show who you really are--they only show who you were for a relatively short span of time.

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Read Baseball: Come Back Wins Vs. Blowouts mikew 10/12/12
Read Baseball: Chipping Away mikew 10/12/12
Read Baseball: A Good LIneup mikew 10/12/12
Read Baseball: Game of Failure mikew 10/12/12
Read Baseball: Short Memory mikew 10/12/12
Read Baseball: Minor League System mikew 10/12/12









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