by Maisie Smith on August 28, 2014
BONG… BONG… BONG
Ominous church bells toll throughout the stadium. The crowd launches to its feet and roars its approval as the door to the bullpen swings open and Trevor Hoffman, one of the best closers in Major League Baseball history, jogs onto the field.
The slow build-up of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” echoes up into the stratosphere, barely audible over the frenzied fans. Lights pulse in synchronicity to the heavy metal beat. Hoffman takes the mound and fires a few practice pitches square into the catcher’s mitt.
It’s the ninth inning and he’s there to shut down the game. Time to go.
I have a new fascination with walk-up songs in baseball. There’s something about a personal anthem that makes the game more meaningful to me. Imagine… you’re in the dugout, ready to step onto the field and perhaps make the greatest hit of your life. The buzz of the crowd is infused in your veins and you lick your lips over and over with nervous anticipation.
You’re up. As soon as your foot touches the grass, your anthem, the one song that embodies all that you are in that very moment, blasts over the loudspeakers.
Perhaps it’s “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses. Or “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Hell, I’ve even heard the Imperial Death March from Star Wars… which was spectacular in all of its dirge-ness. Hit it out of the park, Lord Vader.
We, too, need a personal anthem when we are “up to bat,” in those moments when the fate of the game depends on us, when we have no choice but to crack that ball and make it sail as far as possible.
We need a soundtrack that ushers in fearlessness, even if just in our minds, when we walk into a meeting or hit “send” on that game-changing email. We’ve got just as much riding on our success as a baseball player does. Perhaps even more. He gets three tries. We may only get one.
Let’s face it. Business can be hard. It’s a competitive world and people are fickle.
Sometimes, the jangling buckles on my lucky motorcycle boots aren’t enough to sustain me when I need courage in business. Sometimes I need more. Way more. I have unconventional ideas. I rarely embrace status quo and instead try to merge a bit of grace and a bit of badassery into all that I do.
When I need that extra boost of moxie, I play “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” by Cake. Sometimes I crank the volume all the way up. Sometimes I replay it on a loop in my mind.
I want a girl who gets up early
I want a girl who stays up late
I want a girl with uninterrupted prosperity
Who uses a machete to cut through red tape
With fingernails that shine like justice
And a voice that is dark like tinted glass
She is fast and thorough
And sharp as a tack
She is touring the facility
And picking up slack
I want a girl with a short skirt and a lonnnng jacket
I imagine myself striding into the meeting or hopping on that Skype call with shameless certainty, knowing that I belong there. I’m solid. Audacious. Ready to make cool shit happen.
Confidence can take you places, my friend.
Time to walk up.