NCAA gymnastics: FEB 26

Life has thrown me some real curve balls. In fact– some of those burners hit me square in the jaw. It hurts to get hit by an unexpected curve ball. In fact—sometimes it takes longer to recover from deliberately aimed curve balls delivered by trusted pitchers. Emotional pain hurts a great deal more than physical pain. Some of my life pitchers were fiercely determined to walk me. They knew I could hit and hit far. Ace pitchers struck me out with their fancy trick balls and on occasion unscrupulous pitchers hit me square in the head because they knew if I was up to bat—I would hit that ball with my very best effort. (I never understood why some “life pitchers” were afraid of my capability.) Sometimes it was not the pitcher, truth be told –on some occasions–it was me. I looked like a clumsy Banjo hitter seemingly with little or no power left in my swing—those are the toughest pitches to miss.

Life is indeed a continual test of our fortitude and willingness to step up to the plate. There are occasions when the game is rained out. One’s effort seems so darn right fruitless and yet there are other days when getting up to plate is darn right intimidating. It seems like those days the stands are filled with onlookers shouting “hey batter batter!” Do you ever have days when getting up to plate seems just too ominous? I know I have—so let me encourage you like Jackie Robinson and other great leaders have encouraged me–“just step up to the plate.” Swing with your best effort and focus—even if you strike out– look that pitcher square in the eye and say “I’ll be back.”

This morning– I am grateful God gave me a resilient heart. We could conceivably sit in the Dug-out together all day as I recall my trials and tribulations and missed the pitch. You will be entertained if not mortified at some of the unbelievable pitches thrown at me– even at a young age but God saw every single pitch. He knows I may not be a Major League batter but I have I have always— stepped up to the plate no matter how horrible my hitting stat’s for that year because (in truth) I love and appreciate my life. I deeply love people and I care about the condition of our community and world. I know that if I quit—I send a negative message to my three sons and to the many young people I hope to inspire and that is not God’s plan for me. I am determined to be an encouragement to our young no matter how many times I strike out or get intentionally excluded or forced out of the game by unscrupulous pitchers.

My boys said it best when they named my consultancy firm in 2007, “Mommy—you always teach us to rise to excellence, your middle name is Rising Sun and you always help others to do their very best.” My sons are my best cheerleaders. Today and every day for as long as there is breathe in my body, I will indeed rise, rise to excellence, rise to a level of excellence that some may say is impossible or even a waste of time but it is in my heart to do my very best and (to me) that is excellence. It is not perfection—it is doing my very best and giving it my best effort. It is important to me to care about the people Creator teamed me together with. There are enough examples in our society of those who walked away from the game after the first try, or those who tried to cheat their way through instead of simply stepping up to the plate.

Me—I am back at the plate. I am squaring up, the bases are loaded and I will knock that ball out of the ball park someday and score a home run. My vision is sliding in to home plate with a smile. It’s tough to step up to the plate. It is tough to rise to the occasion. I am rising to excellence, each day every day 24/7 and I want to encourage you to do the same. We can all rise together beloved but we must first believe we have the potential and the heart.
You have the potential—BELIEVE IT–now step up to the plate.

Elizabeth Asahi Rising Sun Sato, Founder, RISE TO EXCELLENCE

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  • By Stephen on November 13, 2014 at 5:30 am