Friday, July 13, 2012

Monkey Cowboys

I have been thinking about things lately. What kind of things, you may ask? Oh, lots of things from the meaning of life to following your passion. I am actually finishing two courses this week so I am reading papers on leadership. The papers are actually quite good, so naturally, I am in fairly good spirits. When the papers are bad, I begin to either tug at my hair (ouch) or hit my head against my desk (double ouch). It seems that the art of writing a sentence and developing one thought into a paragraph has been lost. Sadly, I am not sure what has happened but as a professor, I have to grade not only the content of a paper but sentence structure, grammar, and spelling. Sometimes students have good ideas but they are lost in the way that they express themselves...see what I mean about thinking?

And so, the thoughts continue as I consider where my son is today. When I arrived home the other day, he was ready to go to the gym for a two hour work out. He was also in good spirits as he has selected his walk out song for next season. I love his optimism. According to the big kid, the arm does not hurt and he is getting stronger each day.

When he brought up the walk out song, I could feel his excitement. I hope the season comes soon because I doubt if he is going to be able to wait much longer. Yet wait, he will do, because the actual first pitch will not be thrown until September in fall ball. All of this hard work and preparation to stand on a hill of dirt and throw a little round ball with seams to another player. It seems so surreal. It is this little ball that makes this big kid happy. Nothing else, really...except, perhaps his bed and dog (on occasion) and pizza....

That's it...that's what I am thinking about....he works out 25+ hours a week for 52 weeks per year. And maybe, yes maybe, he will be placed into a game and throw 8 balls. Then he will be taken out of the game and sit in the bullpen for several days until he can throw 8 more balls. But in the meantime, he is working out, running, lifting weights, eating nutritiously, and forgoing partying and some of the college experiences.

Therefore, I ask the question: "Is all of this worth the effort?" Is it the journey or the destination that makes life worthwhile? I don't know, but the story continues each day and we do not know the outcome. If hard work and determination are part of the equation then he is on his way.

Speaking of on his way, last night the family took in a minor league baseball game. The game was fun but dull since the score was so lopsided. There was no drama until.....yes....until....then it happened....something that I only heard of but never witnessed.

What do I mean? Well, there is a legend of a monkey who is also a cowboy who rides on a dog. They call the show the "Cowboy Monkey Rodeo." Naturally, I was captivated by the title and the thought of a monkey riding on the back of a dog. Then it happened! Whiplash the monkey emerged from the locker room and ran around the stadium during a break in the game. There he all of his glory with a little monkey hat on and a little monkey cowboy outfit riding on the back of a shaggy black and white sheep dog. It was one of the greatest things that I have seen and also a bit disturbing.

I stood and cheered. Clapped...hooted...hollered....the monkey with the cowboy hat on and the dog ran laps around the in field and disappeared. What a sight. It was the best part of the game. My life is now complete. I have seen the elusive cowboy monkey and his sheep dog. I can now die in peace. Forget about Alaska.

We loved it...then Big Sis walked backed to her seat since she had taken a moment to run to the ladies room. Standing there in disbelief, she could not believe that she missed the magic. Ah, yes, the magic and joy of watching a monkey and his dog. Life was good last night as we settled back into our seats to silently watch the end of the game thinking about the joy that the little monkey brought to the entire stadium.

Enjoy the day and here's hoping that you catch a glimpse of a monkey riding on the back of a dog some day....put it on your bucket list.

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