Time to get back to writing about sports (and not for work!) We’ve all heard the cliche “it’s about the journey not the destination.” And this is so true in many areas of life especially sports. It came to mind watching one of the most emotional Phillies games I’ve ever seen as newly acquired pitcher Michael Lorenzen threw a no-hitter in his first home start and Weston Wilson who was just called up to the Phillies, hit a home run in his first MLB at bat. The families of both players were in the stands and it gave me goosebumps watching their emotions and reactions.
Wilson’s father was interviewed and tearfully discussed what a journey it’s been for his 28 year old son. The Minor Leagues is a hard way to make a living without getting called up, but he finally got his chance and boy did he capitalize on it.
We may focus on the amazing first MLB bat home run, but it’s about the long road or journey to get there that made the moment that much more emotional. This player has paid his dues in the Minors and worked so hard and to finally get called up and get that hit was just icing on the cake.
The point of sharing about this emotional, exciting night for these Phillies players is that we need to focus on the journey and not the destination. We may not always end up in the job or the house or the situation we want, but we need to keep grinding and make the best of the journey and you never know, sometimes good things happen. We need to appreciate the experiences and trials and triumphs along the way.
There are times I look back on my collegiate running career and am disappointed I wasn’t an All-American. I had a chance my senior year in cross country. I finished 6th at Regionals and my coaches mentioned I had a chance to at it, not to pressure me but to give me confidence at how well I was running.
I would have had to run a perfect race at Nationals and I ran very well, but finished 48th and the top 35 earn All-American status. And at Nationals, 13 places is basically 13 seconds. So I was 13 seconds away. Close, very close but it wasn’t meant to be.
But I still had a great race and as a team we placed in the top 10. And looking back, it wasn’t the destination that mattered but the journey.
I battled back from two stress fractures in my legs and had a great senior season, running faster than I ever had. The team pushed each other and worked so well together and I love and miss this team to this day. I was never part of a more cohesive group in all my years of sports.
And that mattered more than missing out on that destination of All-American status I was hoping for. The memories from practices, van rides, meets and parties are things I will never forget.
The experiences of that particular season were unbelievable, starting with our meet at Connecticut College along the scenic Long Island Sound and ending with a very early morning at Taco Bell next to our hotel in Hanover, Indiana. (Yes those our destinations but many great memories with those trips!)
The hours we trained together and pushed the pace and our bodies led to the success we had. We were able to work toward the same goal and won the Atlantic region and placed in the top 10 at the National Championship. And I believe we did that because of that journey. Because of the many laughs shared and cheering and motivating and encouraging we did for each other all year. When all of that comes together it creates memories you will never forget.
And that brings me back to why many who saw that Phillies game last night teared up. As Weston Wilson’s father said “this was about the journey, not the destination.” We work so hard for the destination, but can’t forget the journey along the way. We may not always reach that destination or we may only be at that destination for a short period of time. And that’s why remembering that journey and what it took to get there are so memorable and important.
And that’s why last night’s Phillies game was so special. It reminded me to remember what it takes to get to the destination and that the journey is just as, if not more memorable than the destination.
It’s hard not to love this Phillies team. They are close, always encouraging each other and you can see and sense that cohesion. It reminds me of that closeness I was lucky to be a part of my senior year of cross country and that journey I was lucky to be a part of.
I’m enjoying this Phillies journey and last night was one hell of a stop along the way!
#itsaboutthejourney #phillies #nohitter #michaellorenzen #westonwilson #crosscountry #nationals #team