Strike Four

Column: Finding The Good
by Caitlin Ludwig

When I was a little girl, my parents signed me up for tee-ball. Now, let me forewarn you… sports have never really been my thing. I was far more concerned with the outfits (including what color team we got to be), my friends on my team and perfecting my cart-wheel in the outfield. But, even as uninterested as I was with the actual game of tee-ball and was happy to stay out in the outfield all afternoon, every kid on the team has to take a turn up at bat. Ugh.

So, I walked up to the tee to the sound of cheers from the very supportive parents watching this (I can only imagine hilarious and horrible at the same time) game. I fixed my ponytail and matching bow, picked up the bat, stepped up to the tee and swung…. and swung… and swung.

Fourteen swings later, I finally hit the ball. The crowd erupted in applause and I took off running with, I’m sure, a smile on my face. I loved the sound of a crowd.

But the point of my post is not how horrible I am at sports; rather, what would have happened if my six-year-old self would have been subjected to the “three strikes and you’re out” rule? Considering it took me eleven more swings to actually make contact, I can safely say that, had the “three strike” rule been in place, I would have struck out, dropped my head in shame and probably walked to the bench, bat dragging on the ground, with tears running out of my eyes. Who wins in that situation (besides perhaps the other team)??

So often in life, we use the “three strike” rule. With friendships, co-workers, potential boyfriend/girlfriends, jobs or even cities. Three strikes, and you’re done. But I can’t help but wonder… what would happen if we were given that fourth strike? Would the very next time we stepped up to bat be absolutely perfect? Would we run the metaphoric bases of life with a smile on our face and our ponytail (with matching bow) blowing carelessly in the wind? Are we throwing great people, opportunities or possibilities away simply because things haven’t worked in the past and we are too afraid to give it one more shot?

Perhaps the “three strike” rule has been utilized for good reason. Perhaps no good can come from allowing a fourth strike.

But, I wonder… if it took me fourteen swings to hit a stationary baseball from a tee right in front of my face, perhaps the perfect job, boyfriend or friendship will take a few more swings than the standard three. Am I striking myself out by only giving myself three chances?? I guess only time will tell but I have a feeling the six-year-old inside would suggest perhaps I take a deep breath, pick up the bat again and give it one more swing… or maybe thirteen more….




~ by caitlinludwig on March 15, 2011.

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