On The Line: The toughest of athletes dreads missing out on action

On The Line: The toughest of athletes dreads missing out on action

Offensive linesman Ramon Foster in action during a Pittsburgh Steelers training session at the Twyford Avenue Sports Ground on September 27, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — Having the freedom to go and enjoy watching my kids play sports and other activities without having the pressure of missing a workout or training session was one reason it was easy to retire, to walk away without any doubts.

While you’re still on a roster, training probably is the most important thing going on in any athlete’s house. For the most part, the entire household moves on the same schedule as my workouts and running. That even goes for sporting events for the kids. Family vacations, cookouts and events usually don’t happen until after minicamp.

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Things sure have changed this year.

Every weekend, we now load up and head to the parks to watch baseball, although the COVID-19 spike could shut that down soon, too. Still, I enjoy having something to do and it being sports. I really enjoy it. I’m usually the one who packs up the van with a wagon, a cooler full of drinks, a tent and foldable chairs. You know, just a typical day of kids playing baseball at the park.

We were lucky last time, as we had early games before the Tennessee heat and humidity kicked in. The kids went 2-0 in the morning and had to wait for the results that would land them in their pool play for the rest of the weekend. And what was different about this 2-0 start was the team did it without one of their best players. That kid and his family went on vacation, as many families do this time of the year. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I expected us to struggle some because he bats leadoff and plays shortstop. He’s a really good athlete.

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