This week in the Daily Hustle (because nobody else is), we want to celebrate The F*It List – Life Lessons From A Human Crash Test Dummy.
While we still try to figure out where our Pulitzer Prize is for this masterpiece, let us grace you with a few small anecdotes of literary greatness…
Each day this week, we will share a chapter from different stages of my life that we believe have the ability to resonate with many of our Daily Hustlers on several different levels. For those of you GO HARDS that have already read the F*IT List, this is a fantastic chance to review the experiences and life lessons drawn from them… Way too often, I have read a book that has had an incredible impact on my life only to put it back on the shelf without opening it again. Remember, our brains need to be constantly CHARGED and our attitudes kept in check. The only way to do so is to feed it over and over again…
For those of you who have not yet read The F*IT List, it’s time to wake the f*ck up and get on it…
The book was written with the ADHD culture in mind, thus it has been broken into 129 short chapters that allows for easy reading/listening… More than once it has been called a great “bathroom book” so if you feel so inclined to stick it on your toilet, I am happy to share the porcelain with you…
Today’s chapter takes us back to my St. Francis High School days and is titled: “Names Don’t Matter… People do.”
Excerpt from the F*It List
Names Don’t Matter… People Do
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
After football season, I had a very difficult decision whether or not I was going to play basketball. Hoops was definitely a love of mine, and still to this day, I would argue that the 56 points I scored in an 8th grade basketball game would rank as the greatest accomplishment of my athletic career. Ultimately, my decision was made based on the fact that I felt baseball was my better sport and the basketball season would run several weeks into the start of baseball. Not to mention, if I wanted to make the team, and play more than a few courtesy innings, I needed to get to work and prepare for the upcoming season. Baseball tryouts brought out nearly 50 aspiring freshmen. Only 15 would make the team. The tryout started off with playing catch for 10 minutes, five ground balls, five fly balls, and then five pitches to hit off of a pitching machine. I froze up and took the first one; I swung and missed at the second, swung and missed at third, popped up the fourth, then hit a chopper on the fifth. I figured that was the first-round and we would no doubt get some more pitches to hit.
I’ll never forget freshman baseball coach Dave Fererra hollering out after I took my feeble cuts, “That’s it, you can go home now. The list will be posted tomorrow at 8 am on the south entrance door to Raskob Gym.” That’s it? That’s all? You have got to be kidding me!!! There are 50 dudes out here and that’s how you freaking knuckleheads are going to make a decision? I was doomed. I had no chance.
I hopped in Mom’s WGN4KID license plated station wagon (no, that’s not a joke) and I started to cry like a 2 year old. All of my hopes and dreams of playing baseball at St. Francis just went by the wayside with five stupid-ass pitches. I wanted out, and I wanted out now. The competition was too much, the athletes too good, and the selection process too ridiculous. “Drive me to Woodside High School (the public school in the area), Mom. I didn’t make it.” Once the tears stopped I came around to tell her the actual team would not be posted until the morning, but my fate was sealed. I agreed to at least wait until the morning to make sure my name was not on the list, but I was so sure that I actually left all of my St. Francis books at home.
My sister had her license, and on a normal morning, I would have ridden to school with her. But this was not a normal morning. I discussed with my parents the night before, and they both agreed to let me transfer immediately if I did not make the team. When we pulled up to the backside of the gym at 7:58 am, the list was not posted. Then came Coach Fererra with the white paper in hand with 15 names written in blue sharpie. An entire heard of insanely insecure freshman boys anxiously awaited their fate. I stayed toward the back and could only see first names from where I was standing. Matt, Kenny, Ryan, Brendan, Zack… I continued to scour the list all the way to the 15th name, Chris. No Eric. I had already prepared myself for this moment. I was going to be OK.
This was my way out of St. Francis. This was my chance to get back to a public school where I didn’t have to wear khakis and a dumb-ass collared shirt every day. I was now going to be able to hang out with all my friends I went to grade school with. The athletic competition would not be the same, but at this point, that didn’t matter to me anymore. I was going to get an opportunity to play, and that was the only thing that I cared about. I was going to be a Woodside Wildcat, and I was pumped. I would walk back to the WGN4KID with my head held high and my chest out, but first, there was just one last piece of unfinished business I needed to take care of. I wanted to look at the 15 names, so I could remember who those guys were, and use them as motivation throughout the course of my entire pursuit toward playing in the Major Leagues. Matt Doyle, Kenny Fluharty, Brendan Royer, Zack Walz, Ryan Tollner. All the way down to the last name… Chris Byrnes… “Who?” We were in the spring quarter now, and I sure as hell would have known had there been another Byrnes in the freshman class or even at the school for that matter. Could they have screwed up my first name? Could they have screwed up somebody else’s last name? Coach Fererra was still in sight. I sprinted towards him, 100 yards away, as he headed to the track to get his 8 am P.E. class going. “Coach Fererra!” I screamed storming up behind him; he swiftly turned around… “What can I do for you, Chris?”
Human Crash Test Dummy Life Lesson #12
Even if the odds are stacked against you, focus on what is in your control. Numbers can be intimidating, but the more you focus on the odds, the less you are able to focus on the task. Commit to the process and eventually they will learn your name.
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