I coached my son’s AA baseball team. It was a lot of fun, challenging in a lot of ways, but fun none the less. Some of the funnest things about it is getting to see the different personalities, challenges, and triumphs of 1st-3rd graders and how they handle themselves through those scenarios.
The other day I was at practice and there were a few things that really stood out. It was an early April afternoon in Oregon, which means it was raining, and knowing that we have games coming up soon and there are a lot of skill challenges with this age, we all agreed how important it was to still practice. Well the rain was dumping, we were all soaked, hail was stinging our faces and we powered through. Not a single kid outright complained, not one of them avoided it, not one ran inside or under cover. Every one of those kids stuck it out.
With temperatures in the lower 40’s everything hurts a little more, the sting of the ball in your mitt, the rattle of the bat in your hands, everything. Well, needless to say, there was more to this story. As I hit a ground ball to one of the kids, he flung the ball across the diamond, the ball slipped off the tip of the first baseman’s glove and ricocheted off of the first baseman’s face. He hunched over as I jogged to check on him. This second grader’s tears were masked by the rain on his face, but he was shaken and needed a moment to gather himself. I asked if he was okay and he said yes. The next part is the defining moment of the day. I asked him if he needed some time out or to call it a day. Nobody would have blamed that kid if he just would have hung it up for the day, but his response is what defined his character. His answer was no and that he was ready to play.
I share this story because as a physical therapist I encounter human resilience every day. It’s a beautiful thing. There are many different manifestations and I believe resilience is a continuum. We all have some degree of resilience built into our character, we sometimes just need to develop that resilience to the level needed in our circumstances. I’m a firm believer that humans have an amazing capacity for resilience and we just have to allow ourselves to be stressed/stretched to help create that resilience that allows us to say no to quitting and that we are ready to play.
Make it a great day.