F is for “Fanatic”

My favorite sport is baseball, and growing up in the Los Angeles area, my favorite team was and still is the Dodgers. I’ve followed them, but I was never a fanatic. But a few years ago, I would listen to a game, and then get really angry when they lost. I would stress out over it when I was falling asleep even! Then, I got so disappointed in them when they got eliminated from the playoffs that I swore off baseball, and all sports. It was sort of in jest, but sort of serious. I really don’t understand how I could have that kind of emotional reaction to a team that I have no control over. It’s really weird!

But I didn’t want to feel that disappointment again, so I decided that I wouldn’t follow sports at all. I think that lasted a year or so, and then a change happened in me. I know it had something to do with when Koa started playing Little League baseball. During the first season, I would get so tense during the games, especially when the team made errors. I would get so nervous, that I didn’t even want to watch the game! I know, right? It was just like when I would watch the Dodgers!

The next season, I noticed that the kids, even if they lost, still had smiles on their faces and high-fived the other team after the game. Even though deep down I knew that winning wasn’t the most important thing about playing the game, I somehow lost sight of that. But seeing the joy on the kids’ faces made me realize that it was I who had the problem. My emotions were ridiculous! Once I realized that, my whole world (well, at least my sports world) changed. I now enjoy watching my son play the game and don’t mind the errors or strikeouts anymore. I make sure not to criticize him during the ride home after the game. I admit, I sometimes have the urge to say something, but that feeling is now minuscule compared to how it was during the first season. In fact, it’s so distant that I can see it far away… and laugh at it. What a great feeling!

The MLB season has just started, and I am watching a lot of the games. I think it will be a great season, not because I think the Dodgers will do well or win the World Series, but it will be a great season because I will enjoy the games without having the stressed-out mindset of a “fanatic”.

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