In the midst of the best start of his career, Elvis Andrus went back in time. He is going to relive his personal nightmare. He is going there. To Toronto. Back to Game 5 of the AL Division Series last October and the bizarre seventh inning. He’s going to revisit his two errors, other assorted misplays, the Jose Bautista home run and bat flip, the beers raining from the upper decks, the benches clearing and the searing sting of his own tears – tears like he hasn’t cried, he says, since he was a baby.
After the game, the manager squats to where Elvis Andrus is seated in the locker room and puts his arm around him.
“This will not define who you are as a player or who we were as a team,” Banister says. “We will rebuild this together. I’m with you, no matter what.”
Cameron’s coach sent this article to the team to read before Saturday games. It’s true, the beauty of baseball is once an error is made, it’s done, over and will not impact your next play unless you let it. What matters is what you choose to do next. It is up to you. You can let one error or strike out define who you are as a player or as a team or you can learn from the mistake.
Just like Andrus, this 54 minutes of pain, made him stronger. He returns with one error through his first 20 games and a .343 batting average. Both are career bests for him in April.
Game one of our tournament this past weekend, Cameron’s first bat was a 2 RBI double. His second time at bat he struck out. What he learned about his strike out was how the umpire was calling the balls. But instead of blaming the umpire, he embraced it. Cameron’s 3rd bat count went to 2 balls/2 strikes. A strike where Cameron did not agree with the umpire but only turned his frustration into a defining moment for him.
His first Homerun. Cameron crushed the ball out to deep center field over the fence. Could not have been a better field as Cameron’s second passion is fishing and I still think he was aiming for the lake that happened to be the back drop of his first homerun. As he was turning 3rd base, his team was waiting for him at home to cheer him on. A moment he will never forget. A moment that Brad and I will never forget either.
Reflecting on my weekend and witnessing this proud Mom moment, it really made me think about Cody and how hard he works every single day too. You see, when Cody learns 3 new things, he typically might lose one thing he learned the week before. But, the next week he might learn 3 more new things and still lose one thing he learned the prior week. If you do the math it’s STILL 4 new things that he has learned and truth be told, I don’t think he loses what he learns it just goes in silent mode for a while. I could dwell on the 2 new things he may have regressed but what about the 4 new things he has learned? It might not be at the developmental pace that a neurotypical child can learn but we will keep our patience and focus on all his strengths.
We will not let this define who Cody is but rather focus on all the possibilities of what Cody will be. An autism mind is tricky and fascinating too. It’s like it has to be unlocked. There is more wisdom and knowledge that you have to learn how to piece together or learn how they learn so you can make these discoveries. There is so many strengths that Cody has already given us that may not fall on a developmental milestone chart but literally has taught our family the things that are most important in life.
Our health – “Health is life. Care for it as you would care for your newborn child.”
Our family – Spend quality time with the people you love and the relationships will grow stronger. Laugh More. Be more carefree.
Install a positive view of yourself – “How we view ourselves is the foundation on which our life is built.” Smile more.
Live your purpose, values and dreams – “Reflecting on what kind of person you want to be and what you want out of life will increase your understanding of yourself. Living according to this understanding will give you a sense of purpose, fulfillment and peace.”
My message today is don’t give up and don’t let one error or strike out define who you are as a person. Learn from it and become a better person from it.