I was the star of the 1993, 1997 and 2011 World Series. Each of those years I came in at the bottom of the ninth, suited up with the intention to score. I took the to the plate like those great hitters before me, and I hit it out of the park. I knew that feeling of victory- I had finally snagged myself a Championship Ring. Celebrations followed, and I really thought that parade through the Canyon of Heroes would last forever.
Unfortunately, the confetti stopped falling and each victory was short lived.
Relationships in trouble can sometimes be a lot like a stadium after a game. It gets very quiet when the excitement is over. The ground is messy, and there seems to be trash everywhere in sight. The silence that envelopes the stadium where there was once cheering and laughter is now home to all the voices in your head going over play by play as to how you lost the game. Standing on the field with your teammate, you have a choice to make. You can start cleaning up the mess in hopes of a better game tomorrow with a teammate that won’t drop the ball in the bottom of the 8th. The other option is to simply exit the stadium because there are just too many candy wrappers, hot dog trays and spilled beer stains that you just don’t know where the cleanup should start.
I’ve been in the position of clean-up three times, and all three times I chose to exit the stadium. Each exit came with its own emotional turmoil, but my last game was by far the worst. It was nothing less than taking a knuckleball at 96 MPH straight to the gut. After a year of what can only be described as a self-imposed seclusion minutes away from Turner Field, I am faced with a decision that is similar to the one faced by Andy Pettitte in 2012.
Do I come out of retirement and get back in the game?
It’s a given that every time you go to bat, there’s at least a one in three chance you’ll strike out. The chances for hitting a homer are even less. I wondered if it was even worth the risk of a torn rotator cuff or worse yet another broken heart. I couldn’t help but to think of my last experience in the stadium and the foul balls that my Ex pitched. Did I really want to run the risk of failure in what would be my fourth game?
I realized something very important. I was judging my abilities at the game by the skill sets of my last teammate, and he simply was an inadequate player. My last teammate was incapable emotionally, physically or mentally to even be in the pennant race with me. Was I going to allow one measly player the power to keep me from going for another ride in the Canyon of Heroes? Was I going to allow one bad pitch to keep me from trying to slide into Home? With time, the answer was easier than getting a loaded hot dog at Citi Field. There was no chance in Hell that I would allow one bad player in one bad game to prevent me from going for the championship I deserved.
So here I am. My uniform is pressed and my cleats are clean. My bat is ready, and the post break-up weight loss has increased my speed around the bases. I am officially back at bat, and I’m looking forward to a full season of facing a lot of baseball players- funny, smart, and cute ones with confidence and swagger to match.
And the best part? You’ll get to read the play-by-play right here at 1FineD8.com. My goal is to share a little dating wisdom, a lot of laughter, and hopefully a dose of inspiration to those that are facing getting back in the game when they really didn’t expect to do so. I know I will make some mistakes along the way, and I hope by sharing them, finding the punch line, and learning the lessons will help you in your own game.
I call myself “accidentally single” because I sincerely had no clue that I’d ever be back in the dating stadium. I thought my last game was just that- a forever Home Plate that would last a lifetime. Like many players, I was mistaken. And like many players, I made it through Spring Training… and Summer Training… and even Fall Training to get over the disappointment of a failed relationship.
Now it’s time for Coach to put me back in the game. Coach knows I’m ready to hit that homer. I’m excited to be back at bat.
Let’s play ball.