“The good rising fastball is the best pitch in baseball”. ~ Tom Seaver
The 90 by 40 Project is the name Kevin Scobee has given his effort to train himself into throwing a baseball at 90 miles at hour — before he turns 40.
That’s like a 40-year-old running a 4:30 mile or a sub-3-hour marathon.
There’s a lot that goes into throwing a fastball. The biomechanics are mind-blowing, plus the power needed to push 150 percent of your body weight forward in such a way as not to land flat on your face is an act that defies gravity.
Suffice it to say the 90 by 40 Project is a major undertaking and I’m grateful Kevin is sharing it with us.
In high school Kevin was a major league prospect who, by his own admission, relied more on raw talent than hard work. He discovered talent alone will only take you so far. He did not have the major league career he had hoped for.
So Kevin, being a good student of life, Is challenging himself to do now what he didn’t do then: to work hard.
Here’s a recent thought of his:
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about hard work versus working hard.
I have an 8-year-old who plays softball. She’s fine, I guess, about as good as you can expect any 8-year-old to be.
But we’ve been having conversations with her lately about taking advantage of the time she’s given to do the things that are for her, and working hard at them, versus the things that are for other people, which is hard work.
All throughout life we’re constantly at the service of others. We go to school for eight hours a day from the time we’re 6 years old, then we get jobs, have relationships, and facilitate our lives with the hard work of doing the things that are required by others. These things are a given; everyone must do them.
It’s the things in our lives we love doing or want to accomplish where working hard matters most: it’s self-fulfillment. There’s a reason people who work with their hands report to being much happier on average than us goblins who sit at our desks all day. It’s building, not just in the physical sense, but the spiritual.
You’re fulfilling your soul with accomplishments:
- that YOU did,
- are YOUR risks,
- are from YOUR effort.
And I think there’s a respect that should be given to the things an individual claims they love or claims they want to accomplish. You can’t proclaim you want to learn to play the guitar and never practice. You can’t proclaim you want to lose weight and get fit and never diet and exercise.
You can’t claim you want to play professional baseball and never work hard at achieving that goal.
When you’re 20 years old and coasting through life, going to class in the morning and baseball practice in the afternoon into the evening, you’re not working hard just because you’re tired at the end of the day. You’ve created an environment of hard work born out of exhaustion from a lack of effort. There’s no stimulus, no juice. Your soul craves working hard and building just like your body craves food for fuel.
“A man stands for a long time with his mouth open before a roast duck flies in.” ~Chinese proverb
That was me at 20 years old.
My story isn’t that different than probably 90% or more of folks out there, aimlessly meandering through opportunities and goals. I don’t want my kids to be the same in their lives. If you like softball, Parker, and you’re only allowed a few hours a week to play amongst your other responsibilities, make them count.
I bring this up today because my week of 90 By 40 was a bad one.
I wasn’t feeling it, and it’s reflected in the testing numbers. I didn’t work hard this week, thus the three days of testing turned into hard work, “have-to” work, instead of what they should have been: a chance to work hard to inch closer to my goal.
This project deserves more than that. My previous years as an “athlete” deserved more than that. Those along on this journey with me deserve more than that. The good thing is there’s always time to make a change.
Work hard today, so you don’t have to do hard work tomorrow.
Just a thought…
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