There is something about me that really loves to hold onto the "all-or-nothing" philosophy. I had been doing it for years where my health was concerned. I was either 100% on a "diet" (to the point of eating only carrot sticks before going out to a beer bash, and then falling down at the bar because I was so hammered) and exercise - or 0%. It was salads and the gym, or pizza and the couch. There was no middle ground.
I was at a going away party for a friend on Saturday night (he is heading off to some war area to keep us safe for 6th months - SHOUT OUT to everyone willing and able to do it, because I am certain I couldn't) and realized another all-or-nothing area of my life. Booze. Now sure - as part of a healthy lifestyle, I probably shouldn't be going out to get fall-down drunk, but that isn't my largest deterrent. I don't do a lot of drinking because of the cost - because I don't think it's wise in my current financial situation to spend a lot of my dolla dolla bills y'all on booze. But the largest is - I don't need another DWI/DUI (I had one when I was 19, on Super Bowl Sunday). So when I go out I am the driver and have diet coke, or I am not the driver and have 1,000 drinks. Let's face it - I could have a drink or two, and still be safe to drive. But a drink or two is only going to succeed in making me tired, or want more. So why bother? I like to know that I am safe to drive home without the possibility of being arrested. It makes me feel superior. And honestly - I'm too pretty to go to jail. =)
It was shortly after declining the offer of cocktails at that party that yet another instance of this all-or-nothing life plan popped into my head. I realized I had been adopting this as my mantra since I was like 14! When I was 7th and 8th grade, I was trying to be a fastpitch pitcher. My uncle Jeff had pitched for the mens' team my dad coached, and I thought it might be fun. For those of you that weren't subjected to my unique style of pitching, I will try and paint a picture. I was horrible. My dad - who wanted me to be the next great talent to walk the halls of Owatonna Jr High - suffered the most. He nailed a 2x4 in the back yard to act as the pitching rubber, and then he tried to catch. I say "tried" not because he wasn't capable of catching, but because he would have been better suited with a soccer net and lot of pads. I couldn't throw two pitches in a row that were catchable, much less in the strike zone. I broke a window in the top of the garage (easily 30' off the ground). I can only imagine the quantity and pain of bruises I caused him, because I have failed to share - I could throw hard. No control, but it was movin'. I remember throwing over the backstop on more than one occasion. Not sure if they were all at practice, or maybe some were at games? Looking back, I have no idea how anyone could tolerate catching for me. My apologies to everyone that had to try. I think they spent more time running to the backstop to retrieve my errant pitches than they did behind the plate.
When I would throw in games, I was all (strikeouts) or nothing (walks). Rarely did anyone get the bat on the balls I was throwing. The summer after my 8th grade year we had our first summer fastpitch team. I believe there was one game where I went in and faced eight batters - I hit four of them, and walked four of them and was then relieved of my pitching duties. The highlight of my summer was my first no-hitter. It sounds great, doesn't it? A no-hitter! What an accomplishment! But wait....no one got a hit, but I walked....wait for it....NINETEEN!! I walked 19 batters in what I'm sure was only five innings (we tended to beat everyone by like 30+ runs). The other team still scored seven runs, because I was sponsoring my own walk-a-thon. My apologies to everyone that had to try and play defense behind me, as well. I can only imagine how boring that was.
So you see - I have a long history of this all-or-nothing attitude. It is at times where I am in danger of totally derailing that I remember that at FC they told us we'd have times where we fall off track. Where we temporarily resort to our old lifestyles. It doesn't mean we need to make it permanent. We can get back on track at any time. Obviously it would be better to do it sooner, than later - but you get my point. I have fallen off numerous times, but hauled myself back. And I'm doing it again. I'm ready to start this new mission in a couple of days, and I'm going to follow through on it. I'm going to make myself proud this summer. Not because I'll be in the "all" category all summer, but because I'm going to dwell comfortably in the gray area in between. I'm going to balance my life with my health, and it's going to be fantastic.
How about you? Are you an "all-or-nothing" type, or a "gray area" type?