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Glen Allen, VA 23060


Garth Callaghan

Napkin Notes Dad





The Napkin Notes Blog


WGarth Callaghan

Everyone has hurdles. My dad battled alcoholism for years. I grew up in a small town where many of the fathers spent hours toiling as loggers or farmers. I have a relative that struggles with depression. My mother and her sister haven't spoken in years. (You have to fix that, mom. Maybe by the time this book comes out …) I have cancer.
I’ve long been a believer that it’s not about the hurdle you face but how you overcome it. And that overcoming hurdles can teach you more than a flat stretch of road. You learn to fight. To go into battle to go after what you want.
The first battle I remember facing was during tryouts for the Port Leyden Baseball Farm Team. Small towns have tryouts. Not everyone gets to play. It's simple logistics as there are but so many uniforms. Players had to survive the cut in order to get one of the coveted positions.
I walked across town, by myself, for the first day of tryouts. I had a new glove and I was ready to play. Most of the boys in town were there, but the coach hadn't arrived. A few of the older guys were smoking. I thought that was weird and I didn't have any desire to smoke. Of course, they were all offering cigarettes to the younger kids. I refused and one of the guys promptly threw a glove into my face. It hurt like hell and I left, embarrassed. I shrugged my shoulders as I walked away. I knew I really wanted to play baseball. But the older guys clearly didn't want me there.
I didn’t even make it back home before I turned around. The big kids weren’t going to get the best of me. I marched back to the ball field and practiced anyway. I practiced every evening until the tryouts. I loved baseball and I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
I didn't make the team that year.
Although I would make the cut in subsequent years, I don't remember a single thing about those tryouts. Why? Because there wasn't significant adversity. Those later tryouts were unremarkable. I didn't have a battle to fight.
“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Dempsey
Cancer was the biggest hurdle I’d ever faced. As soon as my doctor put the CT scans on the screen, even I, with no medical expertise, recognized there was something very wrong with my scan. I didn’t understand the danger level completely, but “cancer” sent me into DEFCON 1. I was presented with a battlefield in which I was a complete novice. How could I become a remarkable cancer patient?
How could I assist my doctors and help them to save me?
From Napkin Notes, Chapter 2 Copyright 2014 by Garth Callaghan
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Notas de amor 22.11.2016: