JohnBaker | 2:11 PM |
Now that spring training has started I though it would be important to reflect back on the things I learned this off-season. This should be an interesting list because I have not written anything down ahead of time or tried to prepare. Here goes.
5. Training unconventionally is really, really fun:
My strength coach and friend Kyle Barbour told me this off-season that he thinks it's a shame that people feel like they need to go to a gym to stay in shape. He is right, How many big box fitness gyms existed in 1965?? People were fit and in shape then, they didn't need elliptical machines or dumb bells. Get outside and do something active, run around in a park and do some push-ups. There is a reason it is called "The Great Outdoors", being out doors can be great. Snowing? Come on, I am sure you can figure something out, I've heard shoveling snow is a helluva workout. The whole idea reminds me of a quote. Take note of the date, "Why do strong arms fatigue themselves with frivolous dumbbells? To dig a vineyard is worthier exercise for men". - Marcus Valerius Martialis (40 AD - 103 AD)
4. I really have fun playing beer pong:
Yeah, this one is not that deep, but until this off-season I had never played. I watched a few buddies on the east coast participate in a serious game before we flew back to California and fell in love. We play it whenever we have a party and it is a lot of fun. I can't believe I missed out on it in College, maybe because the Frat Houses at Cal where not that inviting.
3. Muhammad Ali is the Greatest boxer and sport psychologist of all time:
He was the best because he believed he was the best. Win or lose he never lost faith in himself or the things he was fighting for, you may disagree with his stance on Vietnam, but must agree with any man that will stand up for his principles. He once said, "Whatever the punishment, Whatever the persecution, Even if it means facing machine gun fire for that day, I will face it
before denouncing Elijah Muhammad and the religion of Islam, I’m ready to die!" Here is one any aspiring athlete should take to heart, "If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize." He is inspirational to say the least.
2. The older you get, the more you miss your family when you leave:
When you are a little kid, you cry and get home sick when you are kept from your family for an extended period of time. When you are a young adult you can't wait to get out of the house and on your own. When you are out of the house and on your own, you just want to be near your family. It hurts to pack up your life and say good bye to your family. I get to spend four months out of the year around my family and in-laws. As much as I love what I do for a living, those are my favorite four months of the year.
1. My life is pretty easy and I take too many things for granted:
We always think we are the hardest working, or the smartest or that we have overcame great obstacles in our life. I have been overly judgemental of some younger baseball players in the Big Leagues because it took me seven years to get to that level while it took them only one or two. I often resented the fact that they had an easy road, while mine was "so tough". THEN I WENT TO IRAQ. When I came home I realized that though I worked very hard to achieve my goals, I have never had to sacrifice my safety or possibly my life for a group of people that generally under appreciate what I do. I have selfishly chased my own dreams while our Armed Forces have provided a safe environment for me to do so. It seems weird to think that taking a trip would completely flip my outlook on life, but it has and I really like the new view. I now know what tough is, what it looks like, and my life has not been "tough" by any means.