I’ve heard this one phrase so many times from coaches. “Its all about the grind.” There is some truth to this statement. I believe that while the journey is the toughest part, its also the finest part of life. But it is a grind. My coach always used to say this to me when I was fielding grounders at 3rd base. “Evan! Just stick your nose into the dirt and if that ball jumps up and hits you in the face, it will only hurt for a bit! Its about the grind Colonel!” Well, after all of this “motivation” to take a 5oz ball, hit off a metal bat, off the chest or face…I became fearless. But I also became fearless because I was drilled so many times by baseballs that took crazy hops off the ground. After breaking your nose a couple times and a few black eyes, you really just disregard all pain in your face haha. Trust me, theres nothing worse than chickening out and letting a ground ball go through your legs. But theres nothing better than taking a scorching hot grounder off of some body part (yes I have been hit in the cup before) and picking that ball up and throwing a guy out. Sometimes though, that ball hits you so hard it bounces to far away for you to retrieve it, but just knowing that you stopped that hitter from getting an extra base is completely worth it…plus your coach congratulates you for being a man. My goal as a fielder in high school was to never let a ground ball get past me, and if I couldn’t field it with my glove, then to wear it. That year, I only let 1 ball get past me, and dove to get many that I thought I could never reach.

There are lots of times I come back to baseball in my writing. The reason why is that baseball taught me a lot about life. But in relevance to today, it taught me about pushing myself to always get better and better. My life and lifting in many ways are the same as baseball. You have certain measurable goals that you can create, and the weights will never lie to you. But in baseball there are so many things that just take faith. Take breaking down the intricate mechanics of a pitcher. By the way, pitching is one of the most complicated motions out there in sports. Now you can break it down into segments, but once you get to the mound, it just comes down to faith. Faith in your preparation, mechanics, and ability. “Luck is what happens when preparation and opportunity meet.” On that rubber, you just have to think “60 ft 6 inches. Get in the box bi**h!” Live your life like your on the mound, trust me, your fears will starve.

I go swimming every morning at 6:30 am before the sun is up. Trust me, Im not exactly keen on the time, but I can’t tell you how good it feels to jump in the pool in the morning and kick my own ass. I do it because I am pushing myself, I am trying to take my body and my athletic abilities to the next level. I used to hate swimming, like…with a passion. But now, I love it. I know that I wasn’t going to be that good at it, but I just love getting better and better every day. its my own way of combating my fears. And that was the lesson in last nights mass. We can get caught up in all the intricacies of life, but it is our personal relationships and our faith that are most important.

So push. Never be satisfied with what you know and what you’ve done lately. Rather, think of yourself as a piece of clay. Shape yourself, but more importantly, build yourself a great story.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project