Life Lesson at Fenway Park

In October of 2010, my wife and I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Boston.  As a lifelong baseball fan, I could not take this trip and not pay a visit to historic Fenway Park.  Unfortunately, budget and time constraints made the prospect of buying tickets and attending a game out of reach.  Then came an experience I’ll always remember and one that I can spin in to a “life lesson.”

After a Saturday of sightseeing and restaurant hopping, my wife and I wandered our way until we were standing outside this grand, historic venue.  It was late in the evening and the game was nearing its completion, but there was still a nice vibe on the streets surrounding the stadium.  After enjoying a late night snack from a street vendor, my wife and I started looking at some of the souvenir stands and small shops.  Then, from the corner of my eye, I saw an open gate, leading from the street towards the entrances to the stadium.  I figured at this late hour in the game, no one was bothering to check for tickets, right?  And right I was, as the gate was completely unattended.  So we ventured through.  At this point, standing outside the home of the Boston Red Sox, I formulated a plan.  We would proceed through any open door or gate until someone asked us to stop.  I was completely willing to stop and retreat if told to do so, but I did not want to pass up this opportunity.  So as coolly and casually as possible, my wife and I entered the edifice and began turning corners.  Having never been there, I had no idea where we were headed, but I thought as long as no one was stopping us the worst that would happen is I could say we visited a broom closet at Fenway Park!  Still a win in my book.

Keeping an eye out for ushers, marshals or security guards that would ask us to leave, we kept walking.  Then one last turn led to a literal tunnel with a light at the end.  As we emerged into that light, it was like the entire world opened up to us and we found ourselves directly behind home plate, four rows up from the field.  The bright lights lit up the field of the 8th inning of a tied game between the hometown Red Sox and their bitter rival Yankees.  And rather than have stadium security grab me up and toss me back onto the street (which at this point, I would have been completely okay with), a couple of people shuffled over so we could have an even better vantage point as we joined them on the concourse.  And join them we did, in celebrating a thrilling extra inning win for the BoSox.  And to this day I can say that I watched the Red Sox beat the Yankees from seats behind home plate in Fenway Stadium.

What is the “life lesson” that I took from this?  I had this great experience because we were willing to walk through an open gate and keep walking until we were told to stop.  How many awesome opportunities do we miss out on because we presume rejection?  I’m sure there were other people that saw the unattended opening but decided not to venture through because they assumed denial was waiting for them just on the other side.  We tell ourselves no before others even have the chance.  We should avoid being our own worst enemy and go for what we want.  If we find rejection along the way, so be it.  At least we got as far as we did.  But if we don’t even try, we may not realize how little rejection there actually would have been.

Jeff at Fenway

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