Always Be Prepared For The Situation You Are In...
A few years ago, I showed houses to a close friend, Jason Van Camp and his wife, Liz. Jason is a former Green Beret that lead thousands of troops in Iraq, so when he speaks, I tend to listen.
On this occasion, we were walking up to a property and there was just a lot going on. As usual, I was not paying much attention and just walked up to show them the house.
Jason stopped us and said, “One second, Jimmy, they have a big dog and we need to ensure it’s safe.”
I hadn’t seen or heard of any dog. A few seconds later, sure enough, a giant dog came flying around from the side of the house, barking and looking like he was ready to attack. Thankfully he was chained up, so we were ok. Had we walked up closer, though, there’s a real chance we would have been within his reach.
I asked Jason, how did you know that? He taught me a lesson I’d never forget. Having been on the front lines in war and watching close friends, some under his command, lose their lives in battle had taught Jason always to be alert and had trained him to be fully aware of every situation.
He had noticed 2 or 3 things, including a bag of dog food meant for large, aggressive dogs. That day I realized I need to always be more aware of where I am and what is around me.
Always be prepared for the situation you are in.
Fast forward to game 1 of the Indians and Yankees game this year... I got fortunate and found a great deal on three seats down the third baseline on the front row. I’ve sat front row many times before, so I knew that with these seats comes great responsibility... Nobody wants to be the next Bartman and this was a playoff game, so every out is crucial.
I told my buddy Cameron and his son before the game started, “listen, guys, if they hit a foul ball over here, we need to be heads up. If the Yankees guy hits it, we clear all the fans out of the way so the Indians guy can grab it. If it’s an Indians player that hits it and the Yankees guy comes up into the stands, we need to knock his mitt or the ball away so that he can’t catch it.”
Prepare for the situation, know your role, and execute it.
As fate would have it, about the 5th inning in a tight game, the Indians player fouls one and immediately, I knew it was coming right at us.
I had planned for this moment. As Jason taught me, I knew my surroundings and job in this scenario. Knock down that ball and the Indians player would get free at bat. I ran about 10 feet down the line, checked one last time for where the player was and leaped out to smack his mitt out of the way...
It didn’t exactly go as planned. Damn guy caught it anyways; I did smack his arm and accidentally knocked his hat off as well. For that, I apologize.
The ball was just a few inches too far, and I couldn’t get to it enough to knock it down. We lost the game. I literally can’t stop thinking about this. It all happened so fast.
In hindsight, I should have probably had a mitt and just tried to catch the ball, but I believed my strategy was the best until it wasn’t. At least I was ready for the moment and gave it all I had. I think Jason would have been proud and at the very least, I gave the fans around us and my friends back at home one hell of a laugh.