Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
Two years ago on this day, I had 2 jobs that paid very well and had been concussion symptom free for 15 years after suffering multiple head injuries in my last two years of sports . I had just lost 2 really close friends. One to a car accident and one of them was Jim Maclaren. For those of you who know the story, know that he was ‘my inspirational hero’ back in 2004, when I really started to strive towards achieving my life goal . If you don’t know his story click here. T0 make a long story short, I was in a serious car accident on Sept.17/2010. A guy smashed into my car doing 70 KM (45 MPH) and never even hit the brakes as I was waiting to turn left. Adrenaline kicked into body with a massive degree, so it masked how much pain and what injuries were to come soon after.
The guy who hit me, realized he was in some serious trouble and fled the scene of the crime. Thank goodness I had witnesses who stayed with me in the area until the police officer came and took down all information. I am still in the process of this claim so I won’t go into certain specifics. What I will tell you is that I suffered a Grade 2 Concussion. It was the 9th concussion I have had in my life. The next two months were a blur to me. Eventually, I quit one of my jobs because it involved lots of time with driving on the road. I will not go crazy on anything of poor me…or anything here because I would never say anything like that. You see, I had a good teacher in Jim Maclaren.
While it was a struggle for about a year and a half with head and physical injuries, I suddenly began feeling a lot better in January of this year. I am not sure whether or not it is directly related to baseball, however I have suspicion that I needed something to focus 100% on. It all come together once I chased my dreams once again. I broke my own Guinness World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks in only 23 Days!+-
I used to have a photographic memory. All of my family know this to be true. If you hang around me long enough, you would realize that I still have the memories in my brain some where. I still have really good recall with numbers and math. If you once had a photographic memory, you would think that is a bummer to lose it with head injuries. I do not see it that way. When you remember everything, it is painstakingly difficult to forget bad memories and feelings. I would also remember good times a lot as well-just never as much as the bad ones. The point being is-I wouldn’t change the way I am now for anything. Why is that? I am the happiest at this point of my life than I have ever been prior because I understand that things are not always in your control.
I love the ability to always look into the future instead of remembering the past constantly. That is not to say I can’t still activate memories on recall and by using 100% focus, it just means the memories do not predominantly run through my mind.
I may not be the person I am today if I had not gone through all of my life lessons and some hardships. I would not have been inspired to make changes to gear all that I do in striving towards my goals if I never heard Jim Maclaren’s life testimonial. I often think of Jim still when I have a struggle and it always makes me feel better about life. I think about the day he spent 3 hours laboring around just so he could send me a voice message because I had inspired him after a rough patch in his life.
There are incredible people in all of our lives that make a difference on a daily basis. I quite often think of these kind acts that these people have bestowed to me and it makes want to do the same return. ‘Choosing Life’ no matter what obstacles you face is the lesson learned here. I am almost back at 100% of where I was a few years ago. I will always have the odd day in which I will struggle with the symptoms. I am okay with this. I am also okay with never being able to participate in full athletic sports because it will bring the symptoms out every time. I have been blessed in so many avenues to contribute to the world of sports still. It is my ultimate livelihood and I have met some incredible people through writing and traveling around to sporting events. I do love other sports other than baseball, but that is truly my #1 passion.
Make a difference with someone you can help. Like my brother Trent always says- ‘be epic!’ Don’t do it for fan fare or public awareness, do it because it is right and will brighten someone’s day! Whether it is time, money or a mixture of the both, help out as much as you can. Make personal sacrifices if it comes to that. Pay it Forward! I believe that the majority of the world is made of good or great people who live normal lives.
A couple of more quotes here: You are not the things you own, or the clothes you wear. You are not the car you drive or the house you live in. You are not the job you work at and money won’t buy you all of the happiness in the world (although it may take you to some awesome baseball games.) Just put forth as much of yourself as you can each day and then you can rest knowing that you have done everything in the realm of your being to make your life (and those around you better.)
Like my step-mom Nancy put so eloquently to me 20 years ago. “People are consumed in their own lives and their own surrounding immediate family- that they are not thinking about you constantly so you only ever have to prove anything to yourself and stop caring what other people may be thinking about you even if they are at all!’ What a great lesson to have been taught at age 14, yet not fully realize the meaning until many years later. I love her everyday for that important life message. It puts the onus on you to be in charge of your life and to do what makes you happy. If your family and friends do not cotton to your new motto, then it is their problem!
We are all human here. Some of us (like me) have major flaws and demons that are always a constant threat. But I am honest about these to myself first and to everyone I come in contact with. I know now that is okay to wear your heart on your sleeve-especially when you used to bottle all of your feelings up inside once upon a time. I live a rollercoaster-type of lifestyle and I am okay with it because I know there will be a balance to it all in the end.
At the end of the day, I go to bed thinking that tomorrow will be a good day. If I had a bad day, I realize that there is an opportunity to correct it with a good day to balance it out. If I had a good day, I count my lucky blessings and wish to have another good day in the near future like it.
So keep on keeping on. Thanks for reading. If you made it down this far it means you have liked what I have said here or just found it entertaining? Pay if forward by telling someone special in your life why they impact your life so positively.