Mini-Camp - 1/27/12
A couple weeks ago, I traveled to Florida for a few days to participate in a mini-camp for the Blue Jays. It turned out to be a great experience. I really enjoyed talking with the trainers in person and showing them the rehab program I was on. They were very happy with it and really happy with the results so far (shoulder blade winging is gone and my shoulders look symmetrical, which I think is important haha). We talked about my throwing program and they watched me throw. It was a really great experience. They recognized that at this point in time my arm speed is not 100%. The danger is that pitchers tend to protect our arms by changing our mechanics. They want me to throw less intensely with my legs and focus on good arm action until my arm speed recovers. Then we will incorporate legs again when I am able to throw more aggressively with my arm. It was a great experience and very helpful to have them watch me throw. I really like watching video or having people make suggestions because I can’t see what I look like from the outside. We all know the feeling of hearing our voice or seeing ourselves on home movies and thinking, “Do I really sound like that? Do I really look and act that way?” It is good to have a 3rd person view because it reveals things that we wouldn’t otherwise know was happening. I watch my video and study my mechanics during the season because it is an effective way to examine my technique. My arm is feeling better and smoother every throwing session.
This offseason, I have been experiencing quite a bit of anxiety. I guess to some degree it is understandable. There is quite a bit in my life that is uncertain. The range of possibilities of how this next year, or even these next few weeks, will turn out is enormous. When a pitcher is having trouble with his arm, it is like an eagle having trouble with his eyesight. Without it, he is inconsequential. Quickly, a pitcher’s career and future can vaporize. You hear about pitchers getting injured all the time. If they don’t recover or even have trouble recovering, they’re going to need a new career. Sometimes it is frustrating, because I feel stressed out or am feeling anxiety over the whole situation and I know that worrying about the future will not help one ounce. I don’t understand why I am feeling anxiety, I know that God is in control, and yet I still feel it. I have had certain times this offseason when my appetite has just vanished, and for those of you who know, usually my appetite is large. I asked God to take away this anxiety because I know His will is done despite how anyone tries to fight against it. So, why do I experience anxiety? I asked God to take away the source of my anxiety. I asked Him to heal my arm or to break my arm, one of the two. That way I would know the way things were going to turn out. Yet, the way things are going to turn out is still uncertain even though I am now back to throwing up to 90 feet or more. Maybe this anxiety is not to be gotten rid of, but to be trusted through. Even Christ felt stress as He was preparing to go to the cross. When things happen in our life that cause anxiety, which will happen, it is an opportunity to display and develop traits like faithfulness, patience, perseverance, trust. It is when things really matter that real trust is exercised. The belief that God is with me doesn’t hold much weight when the consequences aren’t substantial. Maybe it is better for me to not have the burden removed, but to develop the trust through the burden. Here’s an opportunity to trust Him through a time of anxiety and stress. To know that He is mine and I am His. That no matter how it turns out, healthy arm and successful career or not recovering and moving on, He will be with me and I with Him. That is what I trust in. “And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” Luke 22:41-44 “Be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6