THE DUGOUT — I am about to tell a very embarrassing story about myself.
Are you ready?
OK. When I was a kid, I played softball for a few years. The first year it went well. My team was called the Dragonflies, and we had cute turquoise outfits. Also, I was surprisingly not terrible (at least to the best of my recollection). And so I signed up for a second year.
That's when things went downhill. Fast. My team that year was made up of an intimidating coach and a group of girls who were a lot more serious about, and a whole lot better at, the sport than I was. So even though our practices typically went well, when it was game time, I would completely freeze up. Every time I went to bat, I just stood there, terrified, intimidated and not swinging, until I struck out. It's kind of ironic that our team name that year was No Fear.
Needless to say, my softball career ended that season with exactly zero hits. But that doesn't mean I can't still appreciate a good Little League moment. Which brings me to this video.
The video shows a young baseball player making his way to home plate. But instead of running as fast as he can, as his coach apparently told him, this kid takes his time. In fact, rather than running, he does a kind of exaggerated slow-motion run/walk, and it is both hilarious and adorable.
Though the coach is clearly frustrated, the kid just shrugs off his attempts to get him to hurry things along. And I can't blame the kid. He definitely knows how to get a crowd cheering for him. By the time he finally makes it to home plate, the crowd is laughing and clapping. And no doubt this was the most memorable part of the game.
This video helped me realize an important lesson that I wish I could go back and share with 9-year-old softball me: Sometimes humor is the best way to calm nerves. Though I don't know if this kid was nervous or just trying to have some fun, he did succeed in getting the crowd (and the internet) on his side that day by just doing his own, unique thing. And I think that's something we could all do well to remember.