Month: October 2017

Cubs Baseball: The American Institution

Cubs Baseball: The American Institution

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Cubs Baseball and My History

WGN broadcast Cubs Baseball. This much is certain. WGN also worked a negotiation to be on every cable package across America. That negotiation lead to a young Kentucky kid growing up to be a life-long Chicago Cubs fan. Baseball is one of those things that I love. In fact, behind my family, I would argue that baseball is the thing I love most in life. I love playing the game, I love watching the game. There’s nothing about baseball that I dislike, except how it ends in October. Former Commissioner of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti once wrote:

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”

A Facebook friend posted that quote earlier, and it set my mind into a whorl about how I feel about what I refer to as the Holy Game on a regular basis.

My response

Over the dormancy, the roots gather strength, and it emerges again in the fair distant warm places in the spring, gathering it’s strength from the very heart and soul of America herself. Continue to be like an amazing perennial bush that blossoms and bears it’s fruit all summer long. The scent lingers, causing you to hunger for more, and during the dark cold nights, you know that soon, as the days begin to grow longer again, the holy game will return. You remember the stories you heard at your grandfather’s knee, of the greats like Paige and Foxx, Doerr or Williams. Of the heartbreak of the Red Sox that so many take enjoyment from.

The game of Doubleday… the double play tandem of Tinkers, Evers and Chance. The game of Ruth, Mays, Aaron, Banks, and Mantle. The game played in the sandlots and the game played in mammoth cathedrals. The game that truly has become a representation of what the dream of America is. This truly American institution. This wonderful and amazing game called, Baseball. And while the gates at 1060 West Addison have shuttered for the final time in 2017 for Cubs Baseball. The ever present spark still burns, lingering as an ember in the hearts of the Cubs Nation, that Next Season is right around the corner.

 

The James Earl Jones Monologue from Field of Dreams

One of my inspirations is Field of Dreams. Specifically, the James Earl Jones monologue truly speaks to me.  In case you’ve never seen it,

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Hard changes – Diet, Exercise, Fitness Week 1 Day 4 Thoughts.

Hard changes – Diet, Exercise, Fitness Week 1 Day 4 Thoughts.

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Sept 27, 2017. 250 pounds on a 5'9" frame.
Sept 27, 2017. 250 pounds on a 5’9″ frame.

The hard changes for working towards a better physical life have been made. I’m trying to move forward and not be this shell of an obese person anymore. It’s going to take persistence, and effort on my part… and I’m 100% okay with that. I had a spark, I knew something needed to change, so I’m doing it. The below started as a Facebook post where one of my fencing instructors made a statement that kinda wowed me. If you’re into it, and wanna make the change, understand that it’s gonna feel impossible, but you’re worth it. To somebody.

“Most people cannot do what you’re doing right now, my man.” – Tora Taka – regarding my new fitness routine.

This galled at me over night, because I’m not special. I’m just a guy who has gotten fed up with the circumstances regarding his current weight, and as such, I made the conscious decision to make the changes necessary to stop being the me whose image I hate when I peer into the mirror.

Yeah, it’s stupid hard.

Yes, it is hard. It’s hard to wake up a little earlier, because, trust me, I’d rather sleep an extra half-hour to an hour. It’s hard to go to bed a little earlier to accommodate. Because I’d rather watch a night baseball game. It’s hard to limit my intake on portions – because I have the inability to feel full and have a constant voracious hunger (THANKS SIDE EFFECTS). It’s hard to make the decision to start the run, or hit play on the HIIT workouts. It’s hard to make the decision to not quit midrun because my lungs are burning, and my heart is protesting that I’m not sitting on a couch.

All this is hard, but it’s hard because it’s contra to what I’ve allowed myself to be accustomed to. As a society, we’ve allowed ourselves to be glutenous. We’ve reached a point where most of us ride a desk when it comes to our jobs. And we’ve reached a point where convenience gives us food that is neither healthy nor truly satisfying deep down.

But y’know, I feel better already, just a week in. Just moving because I can makes me feel better. At the risk of channeling Nike a bit too hard, if I ‘Just Do It’ I feel better all day.

Nike swoosh says just do it.
Nike brand. Obviously their Trademark. I feel that it is used here within the fair use doctrine.

Channel JFK

But all this seems to confirm Tora’s point. That most people can’t do it. They can’t break free of the chains that keeps them with bad nutrition or bad exercise habits. As a society, we have become lazy. I am sure that there are many aspects behind it. I can’t give any reasons why this would be. With hard work, it is possible to move outside this routine. It won’t be easy, far from it. However, we, as Americans, are the people of Jack Kennedy. As Kennedy said in the “Address at Rice University on the Nation’s Space Effort” delivered on September 12, 1962:

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.”

You can succeed at physical fitness and having a healthier life. Just change “we go to the Moon” to “I will make myself healthier” and then realize it is going to be hard. And it is going measure the very best of you. If you’re willing to take the plunge, come on friends, lets do it.

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