I’m Mike Place and one of my passions is real, genuine conversation.
So that’s what I want to have with you here, right now. I always wanted to live a life of significance, a life that mattered for other people, but from an early age I just didn’t know how I could do that. I didn’t have a horrible upbringing, but it wasn’t great either. I grew up in the city of Lancaster (where? Ya.. my point exactly), with bars on our windows and where gang violence and drugs were prevalent. I did my best to blend in, but still got into my fair share of trouble, and overall was known at school as “The Nice Guy”.
I skated through school, cheated on tests, copied homework because I just didn’t see how any of the schoolwork was going to help me do anything with my life. I was bored and unfulfilled, with little vision… except for one thing.
My only dream, my only passion… was sports. Baseball in particular. It fueled me. When I was playing, or even practicing I felt alive and though anything was possible. And… I was great at it. Local newspapers heralded my name on the sports cover and my coaches prepped me for the pros. And… I did it…
I was on my way to my dream, playing for a minor league traveling team and remember so clearly that feeling of the first time I stepped foot onto the official major league field to play. It was magic.
But remember how I told you that I got in to my fair share of trouble? Yeah, I was a hard head – adrenaline junkie and right before baseball season started I went snowboarding and thought I was invincible (as usual) and broke my wrist while attempting a 360 spin.
My wrist, and my dreams of going pro in baseball, were shattered.
This led me in to a deep dark place. After all… the only thing I ever had to look forward to was baseball. The only thing that got me out of Lancaster was baseball! Who was I now? What did I have to look forward to?