Step. Step. Step.

Breath…breath…

Fingers twitching…

Crunch…cleats digging in…

Breath…

First movement…

All in…

Take off.

 

Taking 2nd base is about speed, quickness, and good reads – but it is also about belief. You know that you are going to beat the throw. You know that you are going to slide into that bag and be safe. You are all in. 2nd is yours.

Rickey Henderson had 1,406 stolen bases in his career, almost 500 more than Lou Brock who holds the next highest amount. That man believed that 2nd base was his. The pitchers knew too. No matter how hard they tried, he would take what was rightfully his.

335 times he was thrown out. But he never stopped trying. He never stopped giving it everything he had. He knew. He believed. That’s all he needed.

Henderson-stealing-second-base

This heart of mine believes in something so deep and so profound that when my life is going contrary to that belief, I feel so completely out of sync. My heart can’t give anything less than everything. It has to be that way – because I spent so much time in my life not committing fully. I spent so much time giving it less than my best, and that yielded me a broken man. I have to go all in. All in or nothing.

You are going to get picked off and thrown out in life when trying to steal a base. That’s just the way things work. You can never take them all. But every single time you are thrown out or put into a pickle, you learn something. You learn to be more true to yourself, true to others, and true to your beliefs. You learn that there is a certain way things can only be done in relation to the beat inside your chest – because you have been there before and you know that you shouldn’t go back, because in the end, everyone would get hurt. The people you love. The people around you. And…lastly, you. Sometimes, you have to make really hard decisions. Heartbreaking decisions. Decisions that will bring tears to your eyes…tears to others, and it tears you up inside that things are now that way. But if you really do care, no matter how hard it is, you have to fix it.

We all lose ourselves sometimes. We lose sight of our vision. We lose sight of what really is important. Timing can be the devil, but masks are worse. Trying to be something you can’t be will ruin you. The seams stitched on your heart begin to split, and you end up feeling like everything is wrong. It all comes back down to you. What do you know about yourself? Not anyone else…but what do you see in the mirror? Are you what you said you are? If you aren’t, you know what to do. The reflection tells no lies.

You are going to get thrown out…and if you give it less than everything, you are never going to be great. You will only be that middle of the run guy, who stole some bases, but no one remembered. I need to give it everything…I need to believe that 2nd is mine.

~ Evan Sanders