Living In The Moment
A skateboarder rolls down Madison Ave in New York against traffic. He ducks off the road and on to the sidewalk, just missing a near fatal collision with an oncoming bus in midtown Manhattan. I watched that scary moment last May from my hotel room window and thought about it again recently. Walking down the street in Toronto, I observed a man driving down a busy road on a moped while gazing at his cell phone. The disturbing sight served as an extreme reminder of not only the dangers of driving and texting, but the importance of mindfulness.
I thought of a connection I made a few weeks prior to this trip with Jon McGraw, a former NFL safety and founding member of Vision Pursue. Jon teaches performance mindset. Living in the moment and focusing on the journey, not the destination. “Be here now,” is one of many pieces of advice I’ve learned from Jon.
I used this skill in appreciating some of the incredible baseball history I experienced during a 12-day trip with the Royals. I can’t say I enjoyed watching the Indians come back to tie the game in the ninth inning and win in the tenth Sept. 14th against the Royals, but as the Cleveland fans worked their way into a deafening frenzy, the stadium literally shook. I hit the pause button to stop researching notes and stats on my iPad and just looked around Progressive Field. Memories of the utter exuberance, shock and adrenaline from the capacity crowd will stay with me forever. The Indians won an American League record 22nd straight game that night, the longest streak In baseball since 1916. The Royals led by a run again one day later, but this time they prevailed. As I interviewed pitcher Mike Minor following the win, he told me, “I don’t really know what happened right there.” A long time starter earning his first ever save in his 171st big league game, Minor made history by halting the record streak. As he answered my questions, I witnessed a sold out crowd cheering for the hometown Indians. The losing players remained on the field and tipped their caps to the fans. I took it in, living in the moment.
Same feeling a few days later in Toronto, as Mike Moustakas set the Royals single season franchise home run record, breaking a mark held since 1985. Watching the excitement in the dugout and seeing the joy and relief in Moustakas’ eyes during our postgame interview will forever stick in my mind. Three historical games on one trip became four when Aaron Judge homered twice against the Royals, numbers 49 and 50 on the season, eclipsing a 30-year old rookie record set by Mark McGwire in 1987. I hate the Yankees. Let’s get that out of the way. But what a special moment.
So many of us miss what’s right in front of us, never hearing the conversations we have with friends, relatives and clients. Too wrapped up in our devices and the many distractions that often take over our lives. Here’s a thought. Put down the devices and just observe your surroundings. You never know when you may see history. And at a minimum, don’t look at your cell phone on a moped or or try skateboarding while heading the wrong way down a busy street.