Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tim Husdon: "He's Going the Distance"

While some San Francisco Giants fans want Madison Baumgarner to start in tonight's Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, I am excited to see Tim Hudson take the mound. There is nothing I would rather see than this 39-year old veteran pitcher nail it on baseball's highest stage. 

In April and May, Huddy was unstoppable. He would throw 8-innings of near shut-out baseball game in and game out. It became a regular feat to the point that the Giants would play Cake's "The Distance" open entering and leaving the mound. He did it all without flash or fanfare; that was Huddy being Huddy. His worth ethic became so inspirational, that I started to think of where and how it might apply to my life. I didn't have to look far.

In those same spring months, the senioritis that has incubated since the start of the semester has spread and inflicted hundreds of seniors. Even though I was once one of them, I have never understood why they concede to the epidemic. Why wouldn't you finish strong?

It runs counter to any athletic training I have had. No coach or teammate has ever asked me 
to "hang it up" or "mail it in" before the final game of the season. As a teacher, I've never pushed play (even though I've wanted to) for the final month of school. Why would this be true in other domains? It is definitely a cultural phenomena. Senioritis is common in many schools, but not all of them. I began to wonder what my students had to say about it.
He's going the distance. Yes! Yes! Yes!
I decided rather than step on the proverbial soap box or remind them how lucky they were to be in school, I would point to Tim Hudson and what he is doing right.

Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags go up.
Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.
They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank.
Reckless and wild, they pour through the turns.
Their prowess is potent and secretly stearn.
As they speed through the finish, the flags go down.
The fans get up and they get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can.
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup.
But he's driving and striving and hugging the turns.
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.
He's going the distance.
He's going for speed.

I showed his highlights, some of which were actually boring. Why? Because Huddy was doing was he is supposed to be doing. He was throwing off speed pitches for strikes, he was bringing the fastball to the plate when Buster Posey called for it. He let his teammates take command of the field and showcase their defensive talents. And when he was taken out of the game and thousands of fans stood on the feet to say cheer him on, he simply tipped his cap.
He went the distance.
He went for speed.

And all of that is exactly why and how the Giants are now in the October Classic. No finish what we started? then no "Orange October." No desire to finish strong, "Always October" is "Never October."

Everyone got it....crickets. They knew what I was calling them to; they admitted they could do better and why that matters. And then my student Tristan raised his hand and said "but Ms. is fun." Good one Trist. I said "What? Calculus isn't fun?!!" 

It goes without saying that I hope Tim Hudson, a great athlete who has literally gone the distance of this 2014 season does so tonight: Game 7. It speaks to his career, who he is and how he does it. Thanks for that example.

And let's not forget. “Game 7 is a gift. It’s a gift for the whole world, and we get to play in it.” - Hunter Pence ‪#‎ChampionBlood‬

Photo Credits
Rally Huddy

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