I remember thinking that sports celebrities had it made. They somehow didn't fail like the rest of us. I, on the other hand, had a slew of failures. My parents would remind me that it wasn't a failure, but a "life experience." I wrote in my diary, "I wish I would stop having so many 'life experiences' and finally just find some successes."
A few years later, I came across a book that talked about athletes' failures and commitment. I couldn't put the book down, and quickly discovered that everyone has setbacks and challenges. The most successful people just kept seeing them as life experiences, and kept at them until they finally turned the tide. I decided that no matter how long it took me, I would learn from my life lessons and welcome them again and again until I found success.
The book I read missed on one count: it didn't include my friend Steve Young, an athlete who truly understood the meaning of commitment and took it to a whole new level....
(Story excerpt from When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How to Stick Their Necks Out)
I pulled my Clam Box baseball cap snug over my ears and slowly walked to the rack of bats. I looked over my shoulder in hopes that the crowds behind me had somehow disappeared to chase down a fallen meteor or search out a leprechaun's pot of gold. I knew it was an absurd thought, but then again, so was my record at bat. I had gone the entire season without even one hit.
I had been a standout athlete in Greenwich, Connecticut, and at the beginning of the Little League season, many locals wanted to see where exactly this thirteen-year-old would land. The locally sponsored Clam Box team, coached by Peter and Paul Perry, was the "lucky" recipient.
"Lucky" to have a kid on their hands who would go 0 for 4 in one game, 0 for 3 in the next, and back to 0 for 4 after that. Game after game, after game, after game, getting a piece of that white-stitched leather ball seemed to continually escape me.
I began to dread game day.