Six games in three days. Win all six and take a losing season into the playoffs with one more win next weekend. In the middle of it all, we were getting good at losing the close ones. Extra inning games that just didn’t go our way. The tough losses that should build character felt like they were doing nothing more than beating us down. Tired, weary, emotionally spent, we geared up for the 6 biggest games of the season. We were either about to create more lasting scar tissue, or we were about to embark on greatness.
One thing that has been nagging at me lately is the feeling of forcing things to happen, both in life and in the game. Instead of forcing it, I have been realizing how much easier it is to just let things go. They will happen as they will, with little to no effort or need to control them. They just are. And my ability to get that has changed outcome many a time lately. I needed to remind myself a few times that forcing things isn’t really the answer. Learning to let go of things we can’t control is always best. It’s proved to be what has brought my team to this place right now. It’s been an amazing ride on the roller coaster, but there comes a time when you just want to get off… it’s been enough. The ride needed to end.
I was in 8th grade when I took early morning music lessons with Mr. Petit at the middle school. I was the only french horn player in the 8th grade band at the time and they needed me to really get it. I started my music career with the violin in 3rd grade. I wasn’t so fond of it, so I changed to the clarinet and by 5th grade made the “super orchestra” which was comprised of the best from each of the four elementary schools in my town. At that point, I remember the band teacher asking if anyone would want to learn to play something new. For some reason, I said yes. I was quickly given a new french horn from the school and was asked to learn to play it.
Mr Petit taught me the feeling of flow. He asked me to play a note and hold it, allowing my lips to just relax and find the center of the note. It was the first time I understood how letting go as opposed to forcing it, was a naturally better path to success.
As a lifelong athlete, I also started to grasp flow when Carol Erickson and Dot Maver taught me how to let my arms relax when I pitched or swung a bat. It was so much easier to not fight it… to just let go and relax in both motions. I found quickly that I was fighting my own body when I wasn’t relaxed. I still do.
These past 3 days, I kept reminding my team to stay in a state of flow… allowing their body to just take over and to trust it to do what it was supposed to do. To stop resisting, stop fighting itself. Stop trying too hard, stop pushing to make things be a certain way. Instead, they learned quickly how to best allow things to happen by just letting go. We did something that three weeks ago we wouldn’t have done. We stopped fighting it.
I am learning every day how much this fits into life.
Days that feel off, we try to make something happen. Puzzle pieces that just don’t see to fit, we try to jam into place, bending corners and ripping pieces off. They still don’t fit right even though we ignore the damage.
Today was a nice, relaxing, rainy Sunday. I wanted to do work. I felt like I was being lazy by not getting a lot done… but then I remembered the thought of just letting things go. Enjoying quiet time, listening to the rain while I could hear college softball on the tv softy in the background. I took a nap… something I NEVER get to do. I felt like I was right where I was supposed to be today. I didn’t force anything, I just went with the flow.
Life is meant to live in that way… not fight or resist. I am enjoying the flow.