Baseball is played outside, and there was money involved,
making the following story eligible for my Working
Outside Contest. But it is not the typical outdoor income
story--which is all the better!
My Dinner With Andre - or - Dollars on the Diamond
One day (out of nowhere!) I received a call telling me I was
one of four people selected to get a chance of winning at least
$1,000 and up to $250,000. All I had to do was pitch to
baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson and get him out (with the
help of the minor league St. Paul MN Saints) to win the 1K. Next,
in order to win $250K, all I had to do was to be selected as
the one contestant (out of the four) to attempt pitching a ball
through a hole in some plywood! No problem or pressure
I hadnt played baseball for any teams, other than
casual city youth leagues. I was also in my late 30s at
the time of this contest! I had a month to get ready. Fortunately,
a neighbor had a backstop (something you could throw at and the
ball would return) I could use for practice. I figured where
the $250K winning hole would be, tied an orange ribbon at the
spot, and started practicing. At first, I was happy just to hit
the backstop. Then, through diligence and confidence, I improved
every day. As the date for my appearance approached, I became
pretty proficient hitting that orange ribbon.
The contest was held before a large crowd at a popular
minor league game. Sure enough, out of the four (three that were
in their early 20s and pitched in town ball) I was first.
Was I nervous? Certainly!
I threw four pitches; three (and I think four) hit the orange
ribbon. The forth pitch was crafty; he grounded out to
first. I won $1000 for athletic ability I didnt realize
I had!!! The other three pitched, then the selection of who would
get the chance to throw a baseball through a one foot hole (something
like that) to win $250,000. And
Nope I was not selected. But I still walked away with
a nice prize for the evening, some merchandise from the sponsor,
and some pretty good memories.
I accepted with gratitude the opportunity. I had a chance
to flaunt my stuff. In this case, it was athletic.
I certainly am nervous about asking for a raise, taking that
jump into working for myself (which I have done), or making that
investment in a house or stock, but I am willing to try.
I asked for help. I practiced. In my case, I asked and
received the tools needed. I prepared. I not only improved my
ability but my confidence soared.
I didnt worry about failure. In my case, there were
crowds not seeing the butterflies in my stomach, but I knew they
were for me. By venturing into the uncomfortable, I still had
support from my family, friends, and co-workers, people I didnt
know - and even financial professionals!
Above all I was not afraid to hit that orange ribbon!
Any fear I may have used to block me from trying something new
and uncomfortable would have blocked me from trying something
I was able to accomplish. I use this thought in all endeavors.
Try anything. I tell myself I can always move on to the next
Great story Mark.
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