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Home Run Helmet

I was seven years old, hot summer day, standing at home plate during a summer baseball league. I was a good little athlete, stocky and strong. Before the pitch, the coach reminded me, “Always keep your helmet on.”

The pitch – my swing – a high strong fly far into the outfield. I ran as fast as I could and rounded first base. I was running so fast, my helmet flew off! I stopped, ran back, put it on and kept running. I rounded second base. Again, my helmet flew off! The coaches instruction pounding in my head, I stop, pick it up, place it on my head and keep running. I rounded third base, the ball now flying over my head toward home. I slide. OUT!

As I grew to adulthood, I learned success would require setting aside voices that would impede my progress; you’re going to fail (helmet), you make poor decisions (helmet), you can’t do that (helmet), you are guilty and have no value (helmet).

I learned to run with smiles, delight, and laughter. I learned the love of just playing the game. “Let us live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.” Mark Twain.

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