taking to the field (copy)

Taking to the field.

When it’s spring in New England, and the Red Sox head south, that’s the sign! A whole new season of baseball – as well as life – beckons before us. It’s that moment when all once again seems possible. Whatever our dreams, we’re starting fresh. There is an excitement and a deep abiding belief that this is the year. We’re on our way to the best season ever!

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks once said, “Spring training means flowers, people coming outdoors, sunshine, optimism and baseball.” To go one step further, Spring training is a symbol of renewal and revitalization, something we can all take a note from. Spring historically has been a time for new beginnings, often associated with rebirth, renewal, and growth. As the season follows the long, dark winter months, it brings with it a sense of hope and new beginnings. Just as plants and trees begin to bloom and the air becomes warmer or as baseball players use spring training to hone their skills, we too can use this period to shake the frost of winter and bring some new energy into our lives.

For a sports fan like me, with spring just around the corner, it can only mean one thing: baseball! But before the season can begin, spring training is an essential part of the preparation before the start of the regular season. While it may seem odd that teams play almost an entire month’s worth of games that don’t mean anything come October during the Playoff’s, spring training is actually crucial to how teams perform well into the season. From player conditioning to team building, skill development and competing for roster spots, spring training provides an opportunity for players to get in shape, work on their skills, and develop chemistry with their teammates.

On an even larger level, spring bespeaks numerous values, both practical and cultural, that make it an important season. From an agricultural side, it’s the time of year when crops are typically planted, and the growth of plants is stimulated by the warmer weather and increased sunlight. Environmentally, spring plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the Earth’s ecosystems. As plants and trees begin to grow, they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen, helping to regulate the climate. And culturally it brings holidays and celebrations such as Easter, and more generally, we partake in cleanses, spiritually, mentally, and physically. So, while spring training may just seem like the start of the baseball season, it’s actually an important symbol – a harbinger of so much more for each of us to embrace, celebrate and enjoy!

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