The End of My 2019 Marathon Dream

…and with that long run, my 2019 marathon dream is over.

Today was supposed to be my last long run, a final effort, to prove to myself that I could actually do the marathon.  The truth, the reality I must face, is that I can’t.  Not this year.

I gave it everything I had.

And then some.

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One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 12 – Game Four, The Story of a Catcher)

Well, I am the happiest 0-4 pitcher on the planet.

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I pitched well enough, I guess. I gave up more than a few hard hit balls for loud hits, some of them long drives for extra bases. I also gave up some weak ground balls for hits. And a few bloopers also fell in.

On the other hand, some popups were dropped or missed altogether by the fielders behind me, a few grounders went under the infielders’ gloves, and a few would-be ground outs resulted in poor throws that instead netted no outs.

(And, to be fair, a couple of the loudly hit balls were caught by the fielders behind me. If nothing else, my pitching kept the team on its feet.)

In short, for much of the game, there were a lot of runners on the bases as I pitched.

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“Graduation” Speech – 2019

Often times after I give my fifth grade “graduation” speech at the end of the school year, some parents and others ask for a copy of my words.  In addition to sharing me speech with them, I figured that I would also share them here.

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Moving Up Ceremony 2019

And so we come to the end…  I don’t like this moment, because I don’t like to say goodbye. 

A number of parents, moms mostly, but a few dads as well, have asked that I don’t make them cry today.  I can’t promise that because I might cry myself. 

So, let’s not make it goodbye. 

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This is a great class of students – dear to my heart.  I have spent a lot of time with these students, especially this year, talking with them about so much. 

I want you know something very important at the start.  This is a special, a super special, group of students.  This class has been complimented time and again for their kindness, respect, calmness, understanding and more.  They’ve been praised more than most – maybe more than any other class. 

These are really good kids. 

I am very proud of them. 

I know you are as well.

As parents, you did well.  Very well.  (Apples, most often, don’t fall far from trees.)

And, I’d like to think that as educators, we also did well.

I’d like to share some big ideas that we all talked about over the years, one last time, with the hopes that the students will remember these ideas always – to find success in life.

First – Success isn’t what we get or end up with.  Success is something deeper, something that comes from hard work, perseverance, and kindness.

We become successful when we focus first on being good people – supportive, loving, and understanding. 

When we know how to appreciate and empathize and care, we find success.

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At 50, I’m Back To 40

It may seem like this passage is about running, but it’s not.  It’s about me and you and all of us.  The place where the idea was born, though, came out of running.  Stick with me, you’ll understand in a moment…

While I have always tried to push myself to do things that I didn’t think were possible, and sometimes succeeded (but just as often failed), and while I have always believed that I could do anything (and I do believe we all can), I am sometimes (believe it or not) hampered by self-doubt.

This all might sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t.  As we push to attain new goals, part of us often wonders if that new goal is possible.  I’m a big believer in trying.  I like to go for it, but as I do, there are times when I wonder if attaining the goal is even possible. 

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Limits

Often times we say, “I can’t do that” or “I’m not good at that.”  (I am as guilty of this as anyone.  There’s a lot I sometimes believe I can’t do.)

When we say the words, “I can’t,” we are limiting ourselves.  As a result, I believe that some of the most damaging words in our language are “I can’t.” 

When we say we can’t, we make our own lives poorer – not richer.  When we say we can’t, we eliminate the possibilities and the learning that comes with and from new experiences.  When we say we can’t, our world becomes smaller, our interests become fewer, and we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to learn more about ourselves.

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Impossible is an Illusion

The first published collection of my motivational writings is titled “Impossible is an Illusion.” This work contains more than 40 of my best essays and has been published by Ravenswood Publishing.  This book is now available!

Link to Purchase – Impossible is an Illusion

The title for the book comes from the following essay which is featured in the text.     Enjoy this FREE preview of Impossible is an Illusion!

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Impossible is an Illusion

I’m an optimist.  I always believe that good will prevail.  I look to the bright side.  The glass is half full – even when it is half-empty.  I believe in miracles.  Hope springs eternal.

I believe I can do anything.  I believe we all can.

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June 11, 1995

This is one of those stories that, at once, is hard to believe, but is the absolute truth.  This is one of those stories that remind us all that failure is part of success.  This is true even for people who are considered the greatest of all time, for, you see, they weren’t always considered as such.

This seems like a story about baseball, but it’s not.  It’s a story about failure.  And success.  Great success. 

Great success that came only after dismal failure.

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Fail Thee Well

I had a great idea for this blog post, but I just couldn’t put it together in a coherent way.  As such, I was forced to scratch the original and find another idea to write about.

I tried a second time, and the words, again, just didn’t come.

If you can’t get it right the first time, try again. 

And again.

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The Mystery Tour

This is the third installment of a three part series that discussed the creative competition between the Beatles and the Beach Boys in the mid-1960’s.

Please click here for Part One – Getting Better

Please click here for Part Two – The Power of the Individual

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Kintsugi

My son came home from college, and in a discussion with me brought up a Japanese word, Kintsugi, that immediately opened up my mind to many thoughts.

It’s wonderful to find new words, new ideas, and new ways of thinking.

And, just for the record, kintsugi is now my new favorite word.

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