The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes adversity as “a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty or adverse fortune”. Each one of us faces adversity through our respective walks in life. I personally have problems with temptation and patience, and every day seems to be another struggle. I thank God that my own problems pale in comparison to those not as fortunate as me, however.
One of the greatest inspirations of mine is Gordon College baseball player Dillon Coleman, who was born with only one hand. Despite his obvious physical deficiencies, Dillon never complains about those aforementioned physical limitations. When discussing his goals, he speaks about convincing coaches of his ability rather than lamenting on his own shortcomings. Dillon’s story is a testament to the power of faith and determination in overcoming physical obstacles and persevering in the face of significant challenges.
Such an attitude is applicable for all of us in life. Instead of worrying about your shortcomings in your job, faith or relationships, focusing on what you can control is what will get you the farthest. Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Corinthians in the Bible.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Paul may have been at a loss about how to proceed, but he never went off the deep end.
Our Cleveland Indians are currently facing some of the same predicaments that Dillon and Paul faced. The co-ace in the Indians’ rotation, Corey Kluber, has just gone on the DL with a finger injury. Those injuries are especially finicky when it comes to pitchers. Furthermore, the Indians are small-market buyers in a market where no one wants to sell. Recently, the Indians lost a devastating game against the Detroit Tigers after eight innings of near flawless baseball. Every time the Indians seem to have figured out the Tigers, something comes up to devastate their attempts at victory.
The Indians are currently facing the adversity of their shortcomings and must deal with them. I speak much about statistics as if they are the end game in every discussion of a baseball team. Nevertheless, as is the case with any contending team, the Indians must show the heart and determination to stay in the race, no matter what their Pythagorean win-loss might be or how many runs they are creating per plate appearance.
UFC fighter Chael Sonnen speaks at great lengths about what the Indians always seem destined to face: failure. During an episode of the MMA reality show The Ultimate Fighter, Chael spoke about making decisions regarding possible failure.
“When doubt seeps in you got two roads you can take either road. You can go to the left or you can go to the right and believe me, they’ll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times, but it’s a choice. You can choose to fail or you can choose to succeed.”
Failure is always an option. To go out as a team and think that failing is not an option is ludicrous and only leads to pressure and negative self-talk. Many media members lament on the fact that the Indians lack a cleanup hitter and elite level pitching. However, the hurdle the Indians must overcome first is performance while facing adversity. The 2013 Cleveland Indians have a decision to make. Success or failure?