Dan Cooke pulls the T-shirt over his head and drops it on the bed, then makes his way into the kitchen and pulls a beer from the fridge. He flips the switch at the top of the stairs and thuds his way down to the basement.
The thin, sandy-haired, 30yr old collapses onto the sofa and lays his head back. The beer is cold against his chest, his eyes are closed and his gut is on fire. Dan inhales deeply and blows the air through pursed lips, “This ain’t cuttin’ it,” he decides.
Only he was tired of it all, this is not what he really wanted. The senior high school math teacher leaned forward, “The kids are great and I like my job, but…”
No one knew that Dan had always wanted to coach the softball team.
The teacher sat up and leaned forward, strands of hair fell across his forehead. “It’s time to stop whining,” Dan frowned, “time to take some action.” He slid across the sofa and reached for his cell on the table.
“Sandra? I need to ask you something,” he sighed.
The green-eyed, brunette works at the high school in the office, she is also Dan’s fiancée. “What’s up?” she came back.
The conversation lasted for more than an hour. When it was over Dan jumped to his feet, “I’m going to make this happen.”
This is what Dan did to reach his goal:
- Focused on positive thoughts: I can do this; I can make changes to get what I want.
- Exercised: substituted a TV program with a daily run http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-and-stress/SR00036
- Talked with people: once Dan let the cat outta the bag with Sandra, he began to tell everyone — he was surprised at the encouragement he received
- Studied: Dan spent his free time learning everything he could about softball
- Showed up at games: the teacher never missed a game, hung out with the players at practice, got advice from the present coach, Walter Stone
- Filed the paperwork: there was no opening for a softball coach, but Dan didn’t care — he would be next in line when the time came
Fourteen months passed and Dan began to have doubts, until he recalled something his grandpa used to tell him: “Nothing worth having in life comes easy, Danny boy.”
The call came five months later. Coach Stone had decided to retire. Dan accepted, than scrambled to find someone to take his teaching job.
Success didn’t come overnight; Dan lost more games than he won. The new coach was determined, dug his heels in harder. The tide turned in the third game of the second season.
The “Stoners” were set to play their greatest rivalry, the Bears—a team they had never beaten. When they won by a score of 3-2 it brought the stadium to its feet. As the roar subsided, a call went out over the loudspeaker for Sandra Greene to come onto the field.
In her jeans and team T-shirt, Sandra slowly made her way over to Dan. Her face flushed in the silence, her eyes darted across the bleachers. The coach immediately dropped to one knee, “Sandra, we have dated for nearly two years now, there is no other, you are the one.” Dan stuttered a little, “Will you marry me?”
Drops fell onto Sandra’s cheeks, “Yes,” she whispered.
A roar rose up louder than ever heard in the stadium.
May Your Glass Always Be Half Full