This morning I heard an NPR radio piece about a baseball player trying to move into the big leagues. At age 23 he is playing AA ball after a short stint at AAA. He hopes to eventually move up into the major leagues. His manager thinks he has the talent and may eventually improve enough to make the move. I guess he has about a 50-50 chance of realizing his dream since the data shows that only a half of over 6000 minor league players have made the big jump.
All this got me to thinking that all of us have had a dream of moving into the big leagues in our lifetime. Whatever our profession or employment or other activity there is some kind of metaphorical big league that we would like to play in. As a politician it is the progression from local to county to state to federal political office either as an executive or a legislator. I guess even within the clergy there can be the aspiration to be a bishop. For those of us who have had an academic career there can be the aspiration to become a tenured faculty member in an elite Ivy institution or in one of the other top twenty U. S. universities. Wherever we play out our aspirations there is a "big league" vision that tantalizes us.
Back to the story of the young baseball player. When asked about his feelings about be sent back down from AAA last year he replied, "It was tough but after I got over the initial disappointment, I made up my mind to just work on getting better and just enjoy where I am at the moment." Wow! What maturity! Life experiences for most of us is that we may get to "play in the big leagues" perhaps for a while or maybe not at all. Or we may "play" at the highest level but eventually get sent down to the minors. Whatever the case we need to enjoy the ride wherever we are.
What is playing in the big leagues in our senior years? One thing I can suggest for the senior skier is that regardless of age our big league experience is to be on the slopes on a regular basis throughout the entire ski season. Or perhaps in the latter years just showing up for a few runs and coffee is big league achievement. Hopefully we will maintain our skiing competence in spite of the vagaries of the aging process. Perhaps the greatest thing we can do is show up!
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