Posted by: Jeff | May 17, 2011

Those People Who Believe in Possibility

Joe Posnanski writes brilliantly about so much more than just baseball:

I was on the phone with the Indian Land volleyball coach — at least that’s how I remember it — when I was told that there was a call for me. I told them to put the call on hold where it stayed for a few minutes. When I finished my in-depth interview with the coach, I picked up the phone. And it was Bob Costas.

He told me that he had gotten my letter, and it had told him more about me than any story ever could. He told me he had pinned the letter on his refrigerator door. He told me that someday, when I was working at the New York Times (or Sports Illustrated — Bob seems to remember it as Sports Illustrated) he would tell people he knew me when.

I cannot begin to explain what that call meant to me. My crazy life has been overcrowded with lucky breaks — breaks I did not fully (or, in some cases, even partially) appreciate at the time. Everything broke right. I worked for great editors at precisely the right time in my career. I ran into great stories, often by accident. I met amazing people who offered a kind word or perfectly timed advice or a brilliant lesson. I have made great friends in this business, and we have challenged each other and pushed each other and inspired each other and mocked each other just when we needed it most.

And that call from Bob Costas on that afternoon … well, I can only explain it this way. I try to teach my daughters a lot of things. Right now I’m trying to teach my oldest her 8 multiplication table (“Figure 8 … it would be great … if I could skate … “), and I’m trying to teach my youngest that chocolate chips do not make a viable meal, but the biggest thing I want to teach them both is that it is possible. Whatever it is. The world, I believe, is best enjoyed and most affected by those people who believe in possibility, who strive for it, who shake off the doubters and their own self doubt, who laugh with the critics and keep moving forward, who follow their own curiosities until they are filled, who see themselves accomplishing the best they can imagine.

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