From the time I was seven years old, all I wanted to do was be a big leaguer. I got close, but I didn’t reach my ultimate goal. I failed. My childhood dream didn’t come true. And it hurt.
Toward the end of my last season in the minors, I had a hard time accepting that it was over. After twenty years of believing something was my destiny - that I was literally put on this Earth to do it - being a baseball player wasn’t simply a dream job, it had become my identity. Who was I if I no longer was a baseball player?
I cycled through every emotion associated with loss - denial, anger, depression. I blamed everyone. Made excuses. Was hard on myself. Lost confidence. Felt confused and alone. It was the greatest adversity I had ever faced in my life, and I didn’t have a clue how to overcome it.
Then, I got an email from CBA.
Take one step forward at a time.
They were looking for a swimming coach. I applied.
Twelve years later, I could not imagine my life any differently. From my greatest adversity was born a life even better than I had dreamed. I would not have met my wife. We would not have our beautiful daughter. I would not have coached countless athletes, building memories and relationships that are irreplaceable. I would have missed out on my true calling of teaching and coaching. If not for failure, I would not be who God has truly called me to be.
Adversity is hard in the moment. We would rather avoid it. We don’t want to fail. But if we take one step forward at a time, eventually we look back and see we are exactly where we should be. We grow stronger. Wiser. Better. Adversity is a blessing - an opportunity - to become who we are truly meant to be.