View Full Version : Baron Batch Blog: "Left Right Left"

11-03-2011, 09:00 PM
I love this kid's attitude and hope he makes a full recovery in time for next season...



Diary 36 (left right left will get you there)

Today I ran. It wasn’t pretty or fluid and I had a distinct limp because my left leg is weaker than the right. As I took my first few strides my heart pounded with nervousness while I thought, “Left, right, left will get you there.”

Running scared is never a good thing.

When I think back on my childhood there weren’t many consistent things. There aren’t many warm memories of happy holidays and gift filled Merry Christmas’s. My fondest memory from my childhood is an old dirt country road. This road led from the small trailer house I grew up in, and ended at the bus stop where my brothers and sister and I would be picked up for school in the morning. This old road was one of the few consistent things that I came to know, and we got to know each other very well. This dusty old dirt road taught me one of the most important things that I have ever learned. On this road I learned how to run.

I grew up way outside the city limits in what always seemed like the middle of nowhere. I remember the school bus would come early in the morning way before the sun would come up. Darkness embraced everything outside being that there were no streetlights. My siblings and I would wake ourselves up for school, and there would be many times that we would wake up late and have to rush to catch the bus. I remember frequently waking up just in time to throw on some dirty clothes and brush my teeth before running outside to the porch, only to see headlights rapidly approaching. I would stare down the old dirt road into the darkness to the end of the highway were the bust stop was. It was never a good feeling waking up late because it didn’t give me time to carefully navigate the old dirt road in the dark, and wait on the bus at the end of the highway. Waking up late meant that had to blindly sprint through the darkness while headlights served as my only beacon for direction.

On the porch I would stand staring at the beginning of the dirt road, and it would stare back as if saying, “Yup Baron you woke up late again. Better hurry up so you can catch that bus! Don’t wanna get left now.”

I was always afraid to miss the school bus. Unlike most kids these days that prefer to skip school or fake sick, I always preferred school over staying home, and even if I was sick school was the place I wanted to be. School always served as an escape for me. It was an escape from the craziness that was my life at home, and gave me consistency. It provided consistent friends, meals, and structure to a very unstable childhood. The glowing headlights of the bus not only served as a beacon to navigate my way through the darkness each morning, they were my motivation to wake up. They were a way out. They were a way to escape everything at home for at least a portion of the day. I always knew that if I could just make it to the glowing lights of the school bus each morning, it could be my escape. It could take me far away to a place that was much better. However at the end of each day it would return me to the bus stop where the old country dirt road met the highway. As the bus would pull away, the dust that the tires stirred up would slowly settle on me…. and so would reality.

The walk back up the old dirt country road at the end of the day was always a long one. I remember I would find a rock and attempt to kick it whole way home, trying to beat my number of attempts from the day before; while the only thing that went through my head was how quickly I wanted the following day to come, and just how badly I wanted to see the glowing headlights of the school bus approaching again through the darkness.

The following day would always come. I would wake up just in time to throw on a pair of dirty clothes and brush my teeth, just like the previous day. I would grab my worn out tennis shoes with the partially detached souls that would flip and flop as if they were laughing at me. Grabbing the shoestrings I would tie them up as tight as I could, and even add a double knot to shorten the frayed laces so I wouldn’t trip on them. I couldn’t afford to trip and fall because it was already hard enough to run in the darkness. I would grab my oversized backpack and Five Star binder full of crumpled homework and head outside to the porch to see if I could see the lights of the school bus approaching. As always, at 5:45am the glowing lights of the bus would cut through the darkness. At 5:45am each morning opportunity arrived, and at 5:45am each morning I had to chase it so it didn’t leave without me.

I remember it well.

I’m standing on the wooden porch staring at the beginning of the old dirt road, and it stares back as if saying, “Yup Baron you woke up late again. Better hurry up so you can catch that bus! Don’t wanna get left now.”

The light from the porch doesn’t extend far and stops where the dirt road begins. Darkness stretches all the way to where the dirt road meets the highway, and at the end I can see the bus’s glowing lights. However, the stretch of darkness isn’t what makes me hesitate. What makes me hesitant is the fact that there is little visibility on the dirt road, and if I sprint I could fall. But, I’m even more afraid to miss the bus. I don’t want to miss my opportunity. I can’t let the glowing lights drive off with out me.

So I run….

I run down the steps from the porch to the beginning of the dirt road and disappear into the darkness, all the while keeping my eyes fixed on the headlights of the school bus.

And I run….

I run with my oversized backpack holding the shoulder straps tight. I can hear the flipping and flopping of my beat up tennis shoes against the dirt road, and I can hear myself breathing deeply as I sprint as fast as I can; all the while keeping my eyes fixed on the headlights of the school bus that grow closer.

And I run…

My feet move fast as if they aren’t touching the ground, and I sprint through the darkness unable to see. There is no visibility and I almost trip. I’m getting close to the headlights of the bus now.

And I run….

I’m almost at the bus stop. My legs move faster and faster, as the soles of my tennis shoes flip and flop. Suddenly my foot catches an uneven part of the dirt road, and I stumble falling knees first. As I slide across the ground on my knees, I can feel tiny rocks tearing away the skin and lodging themselves into my flesh.

I stand up brushing off my bloody knees and climb the steps to board the school bus. I take my seat and begin to carefully pick the little rocks out of my knees. As we pull away from the bus stop where the old dirt road meets the highway I stare out the window and the stinging pain in my knees fades. I think to myself “I made it another day and that’s all that matters.”

I remember arriving at school that morning and was sent to see the nurse to have my scrapes on my knees cleaned out. She proceeded to ask me what happened and I explained that I was running to catch the bus in the dark and I couldn’t see so I tripped and fell. Her response is something that I have kept with me to this day.

She said, “Baron, I know that you have to catch the bus, but you cant just blindly run. If it’s too dark to see, just focus on each time your foot hits the ground. Left, right, left, will get you where you need to go.”

At the end of that day again I stood with the old dirt road ahead of me, ready to make the long walk back to my reality. Ready for the next day when opportunity would come with its glowing headlights cutting through the darkness.

I must have run down that dirt road in the dark to catch the bus hundreds of times more after the first time I fell. The difference was that every time after that I would think to myself “Left, right, left will get you there.”

I never fell on that road again but more importantly I never missed the bus.

Today was the first time since I tore my ACL that I was able to run, but in all reality since that day I fell and scraped my knees as a child running to catch the school bus in the dark, I have never really stopped running. I’ve never stopped chasing the glowing headlights of opportunity that frequently come by. For me opportunity came in the form of a school bus every morning, but I guess opportunity drives by in different forms for everyone. I think that everyone has their own porch, their own dirt road, and their own bus stop where opportunity frequently stops, and flashes its headlights before pulling away. In between everyone’s porch and bus stop is a dirt road surrounded by darkness, where there is uncertainty, and little visibility. Some people walk slowly towards it because it’s dark and hard to see, and they get left. Some people frantically sprint to catch it and trip and fall like I did. But, the people that consistently catch opportunity are the ones that know how to run when they cant see.

For me ‘left right left’ has gotten me here and ‘left right left’ will get me where I’m going.

God Bless


11-03-2011, 09:13 PM
Good stuff. This guy is a really good writer. It's almost a shame he's a jock.

11-03-2011, 09:20 PM
Nice :tt1 :tt1 :tt1

11-04-2011, 02:48 PM
This is one hell of a young man.

I hope he recovers well and can see the field for us. There's no doubt he's got his head on straight.