Hey, how are ya?
Before I introduce my next guest blogger, I would like to thank Kacey Morin and the 5th graders of Francis Drake School for allowing me to come in and share with them my story! It was an amazing opportunity to speak to those wonderful students!
Now, my guest blogger for this post is my good friend and San Francisco Giants Pitcher, Tyler Beede! Tyler and I went to high school together where we were two years apart. Before I got to know Tyler, I just thought he was a really talented baseball player. I was very wrong. He is way more than just a man who can throw a 95mph fastball, and his guest blog will show you why!
Tyler Beede’s Guest Blog Post:
“Getting drafted by the Blue Jays right out of High School is a part of my baseball journey, and life, I will never forget.
Most people, when they hear my name, believe that’s really all there is to me, my “big” decision to turn down millions, “how dumb!
There’s much more to me, now, than that…there’s much more to me, today, than just baseball! But for a while I believed that’s all I was too.
It was a confusing time, going through the recruiting process. I was extremely excited and equally nervous, and the process started so early. I remember being at dinner once, after I performed surprisingly well at a showcase tournament, with my dad, and his cellphone rang endlessly with offers from schools…as a sophomore.
Of course I was (and am) grateful for all the opportunities, but it’s a lot for a 15 year-old to process the gravity of those decisions. How does one really make good choices at that age anyways? The male brain can barely recognize its mortality before his mid-twenties. Choosing my future at that age seemed crazy (and to think that every High Schooler feels that way today is a bit crazy in itself).
That’s why when the draft happened my Senior year, I became a bit paralyzed. On one hand, it seemed absolutely ridiculous not to accept the offer. I was going to get to live out my dream earlier than I had hoped for. Everyone thought I would sign…and I sure thought so too.
But then I remembered what it felt like as the 15 year-old…
Being incredibly excited and endlessly nervous, not really sure of the right path ahead. And while I was now three years older, I still didn’t know the answers to any of these questions.
There was so much still to learn about myself, that I started doubting now was the right time. I started leaning towards going to college, furthering my education, development on the field and growing as a person. Of course I felt a bit crazy for turning the offer down, but to this day I look at that decision as one of the smartest I ever could have made.
I’m thankful for the Blue Jays, don’t get me wrong! But spending those 3 years of my life at Vanderbilt were every bit of a emotional roller coaster ride that God intended for me to go on, whereas otherwise I may have not been able to experience success and failure and everything else under such a spotlight!
And to now be able to be apart of the San Francisco Giants is something beyond my imagination.
My choice to attend school was one of the few moments of wisdom I had in my early years of adulthood. Understanding that personal development outweighed the development of my career is something I knew mattered, I probably just couldn’t articulate it well enough at the time.
It also set a foundation for one of the most important lessons I’ve learned since becoming a professional Athlete. We live, in many people’s eyes, such an extravagant and disconnected life. While some of that may be true — because yes, we are associated with Major League teams and are often seen/ spoken of in circles that “famous” people are usually mentioned in — but most of it isn’t. Most of this life is difficult primarily because of that misconception. We are normal people, apart of an abnormal workplace striving to make people happy while enslaving our own happiness.
Like you — like anyone — I’m just a human following my path.
College was one of the hardest periods I’ve experienced in life so far. I witnessed, participated in and felt things I’d never thought possible…dark things. I thought being a successful athlete could make me immune to these necessary human challenges.
I was obviously wrong.
I make this point because the way our culture and society values sports and, in my case, the ability to throw a ball hard is a bit…imbalanced. While I’m so thankful for the life and opportunity that professional sports has brought me and I love what I do, I don’t think it makes me — or my voice — more important than any other human being on the planet. At all.
I believe every person matters, and therefore, so does every voice.
Because it’s only through faith and our ability to overcome the human challenge that we find meaning. This requires what I call being, “Totally Centered.”
Your Center is your rock, your foundation. When the craziness of life (which you can never control) seems to keep you off your feet, your center acts as a grounding system. It allows you to relinquish control of your circumstances in return for peace, happiness and fulfillment. That’s where I find myself today, grateful, happy, at peace with my journey and where God has me.”
Joey and Tyler