I Have No Fingernails Left

It’s interesting how many things in your life seem to intertwine. I have several hobbies that on the surface seem to be unrelated. For example I used to race downhill mountain bikes where speeds would reach more than 70 miles an hour and one lapse of judgment could result in meeting trees and rocks up close and personal. Mountain bikes evolved into motorcycles and with it the pain and injuries also seemed to rise exponentially. Once while racing the motorcycle slid out from under me and both my bike and I went off a cliff. I guess I was lucky; I landed on a tree my bike landed on a rock. One day I came home from work and announced to Trina that I had enrolled us in a Scuba Diving class. I have no idea why, it just seemed like an interesting thing to do. Diving has led to several interesting adventures including swimming with Hammerhead sharks off the coast of Mexico. Of course we had no idea what we were doing and none of us in the dive group even pondered the fact that we didn’t have a shark cage or any protection should the sharks not appreciate our company. It seems like every time I start to get a little bored I come up with something new and somewhat bizarre to try. It would be different if I did this alone but I seem to always drag Trina into this as well; a fact she is not exactly thrilled about. The one common denominator to all of these “hobbies” seems to be the adrenaline that each activity brings. Nothing quite matches how focused your life becomes as when trees are blurring by your peripheral vision at 75 miles an hour and you’ve just realized your bicycle’s disc brakes have lost their grip and you don’t have any way to stop.

With all of my practice in dealing with intense pressure and with large doses of adrenaline you would think that baseball would be a substantial letdown. In the last two weeks I have found my life getting into the same focus zone that occurred in my other activities. The push the Arizona Diamondbacks are making towards the post season has really got me on edge. Each game brings that edge closer and closer. The decision making becomes magnified and scrutinized to determine the right choice of action. I am analyzing every scenario playing each in my mind over and over to decide whether I chose the correct line to guide me through this section. My mind is constantly in motion as I evaluate and re-evaluate the actions from the past run; always looking for an advantage. It’s crazy considering I have no real function in this post season run. I am just a spectator standing at the sidelines watching the events unfold in front of my eyes. Why should I get butterflies before a critical at-bat or get worked up with pitch counts elevate too quickly early in the game. I’m not the one facing a 96 mile per hour fastball nor do I have to worry whether my arm is strong enough to gun down that runner trying to take an extra base on a ball hit to the outfield. Still I find myself engulfed in the game trying to determine whether the Diamondbacks will make the post season.

Tonight night was a prime example. I had the Diamondbacks game on television with my laptop tuned to the out of town scoreboard where I could monitor each pitch of the Mets vs. Nations game, the Braves vs. Phillies game, the Dodgers vs. Rockies game, and the Giants vs. Padres game. Things started out pretty well. The Mets were getting throttled by the Nationals and the Braves were making life miserable for Philadelphia. The Diamondbacks made a monster come back against the Pirates erasing a 4 run deficit. Everything seemed to be perfect; then in an instant that knot in my stomach tripled in size. The Mets began scoring at will and had the tying run in scoring position. The Phillies got within 2 runs of the Braves and momentum seemed to be swinging. Brandon Lyon of the Diamondbacks committed a balk moving the runner to third then gave up a single to give the Pirates the lead. Meanwhile on the west coast the Giants squander a 4-run lead and the Padres score 4 runs after being within 2 strikes of losing the game coming from behind. The once swaggering Los Angeles Dodgers basically rolled over like a whipped puppy against the Colorado Rockies. Before the evening was over the Diamondbacks lead in the National League West began to evaporate by 33 percent. I had to get away from the television and the Internet; things were just getting way to bizarre. I looked up and noticed that it was nearly a full moon. About the only thing left to make this night complete would be to have a werewolf wearing a Boston Red Sox hat to jump out from behind a bush and rip my arms out of their sockets. It was at that moment that I remembered the first rule of scuba diving, “1. Don’t forget to breathe.”

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