Taylor Starts Trying
Let me tell you about 7 year old Taylor for a moment.
I was a tiny tomboy, with messy dirty blonde hair and a hyper personality the speed of a jackrabbit. I was quite the handful (some would say I still am). One day, I was in the grocery store checkout line with my mother, being incredibly bored as she went through the seemingly never-ending process of paying for the groceries. That’s when I saw it; that beautiful fold out card table nestled between the customer service desk and the movie rack. A man with a pen and clipboard sat behind it with a sign that read:
“Central City Baseball Signups”
Now, being a kid in the 90s, naturally I had watched movies like “The Sandlot”, “Angels In The Outfield”, and “Field of Dreams” over and over with a wide-eyed love of the baseball diamond.
But being a little GIRL in the 90s, “A League of Their Own” turned that love into a dream.
And the moment I saw that signup table inside my local Albertsons, that dream became a goal. I was going to try baseball. And my mom will tell you, there was no changing my mind. I dragged her to the table excitedly asked to sign up. She looked at me softly and said, “I don’t think girls are allowed to play.”
See, I knew that wasn’t true, because if Dottie Hinson could play, so could I. Luckily, the man at the table backed me up.
“She can play! We’ve never had a girl in our league, but there’s nothing in the rules that says she can’t play.” My mom looked at the sign up sheet, then looked at me, and asked me if I really wanted to. With the biggest grin I could muster, I said yes. She agreed, but gave me a condition I will never forget.
“If you sign up for baseball, you have to see it through. You can’t quit right after you start. You have to play the whole season and give it a real try. Then, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to play again next year.”
Those words stuck with me. It was a powerful statement to a seven year old. And you know what? I did go on to play in that league, which led to a lot of hard work. I struck out, I missed throws, I got tired. But I stuck with it. I saw how my teammates and I got better over time, how we learned and improved. We started hitting balls, catching throws. It became easier.
That was the summer I remember first trying new things. Okay, I’m sure I tried all sorts of things before that, but that’s the first time I really remember having the urge to do something I had never done, and really doing it. It was the summer I learned what it looks like to fail, pick up, and try again.
It taught me that practice may not make perfect, but it makes you better.
And you will get better, as long as you don’t quit right after you start.
I’ve carried that philosophy with me my entire life. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a lot of skills, hobbies, and crafts. I have tried a lot of things, and I’ve gotten pretty good at most of them. That’s not because I have some sort of natural ability or skill that others don’t.
It’s because I try, and when I try, I see it through. I’ve been trying since I was seven year old, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.