“Toddles, watch the gap. Toddles stay back on the ball. Toddles keep your hands down.” This is a term of endearment I hear countless times while on the baseball field. “Toddles” is strikingly close to my last name, Todd, as well as the word toddler. I am a mere 5’9”; the average major league baseball player is nearly 6’2”. Height has convoluted my athletic career, as I have always been one of the shorter kids on my teams. Although this genetic trait has complicated my dream of playing professional baseball, it has added a new dimension to my life. My height has taught me to appreciate the finer things in life, as well as made me who I am, and who I want to be.
Last June, my high school baseball team competed in the New York State Section One Championship Game, which many critics counted us out of. I entered the game to pitch the final two innings, against some players nearly half a foot taller than me, and lead my team to victory.
This was not a test of ability, but yet one of courage and determination. I worked harder than anyone else on the field and knew I was ready for this challenge. When I struck out the final batter and my team began to pile on top of me, I knew this was a moment I would never forget and that I had earned it.
Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, about 29,035 feet above sea level. The daunting task of climbing this mountain has left thousands at its base, but has this stopped the 2,700 individuals who have reached its peak? The ascent to the top is like my life. I face obstacles everyday that I must overcome, not with height or brute strength, but with the valor built up inside of me knowing I will succeed.
Even when I was an adolescent, I would not accept anything but perfection. My mom always reminds me that when I was younger I proclaimed I would someday find the cure to cancer. This may never come true, but it reveals I believed in a greater purpose and was ready to accept any challenge no matter how feasible. I continue this mindset today as my high school days come to a close and my college career draws near. Life is about living every moment to its fullest and never looking back thinking you should have done something different. “Toddles” no longer haunts me, but it inspires me. It has taught me to never be afraid of the inevitable but continue dreaming the impossible. I know I am now ready to climb any mountain in my path. I am prepared to embark on a journey that I will not fail to remember and reach new heights that no one else has ever reached before.
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