The Wisdom of Helen Hartman

By Coach Ron Wolforth –


I was 8 years old when I first heard my grandmother say, “Well Ronald, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I actually thought at the time, “Wow, Grandma, that’s a whole bunch of ‘bad’ that you’ve included up until the ‘doesn’t kill us’ part. I’m kind of hoping most of my days going forward, I can stay away from that far end of the things that almost kill us. Personally, I’d like to get stronger on things where the stakes might not be quite so high if that’s ok with everyone else?”.


Ah, the mind of an 8-year-old.


My grandmother was often able to get me to think in ways no one else ever did. Her wisdom was profound.


She also loved to quote poems to me that she learned as a little girl.


One of her favorites was this one by Longfellow:


The Rainy Day


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.


Recently, both at the Texas Baseball Ranch® and with Garrett and his career, we’ve had a tough couple of weeks. Every single one of you can relate; we all experience weeks like this.


As the poem so beautifully states, “Into each life some rain must fall”.


The real question becomes: How, then, do we respond?


One of my favorite passages regarding the response from Mind of An Elite Level Performer comes from Sylvester Stallone.


Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”


So, as you go through the rest of 2021 and beyond, always keep 2 things in mind: 1) You are never alone, we all experience “rain” and 2) What doesn’t kill us will indeed make us stronger if we simply choose to keep moving forward.


Stay curious and keep fighting the good fight.


Coach Wolforth


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