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“Don’t Wake Up!”

Pablo “Kung-Fu Panda” Sandoval, World Series MVP

“Don’t wake up! Keep dreaming.”

– – Mother of Pablo “Panda” Sandoval, 2012 World Series MVP

Pablo was living for this moment, sleepwalking like his mother taught him.  Just two years ago, the San Francisco Giants were deep into the 2010 World Series against my favorite Texas Rangers. Pablo Sandoval was benched and brooding, supporting his team but definitely not enjoying his personal slump. He’d always had issues with his weight and  all year his teammates were trying to get him to eat healthier and begin a better exercise regimen. The message didn’t stick. Here he was on the grandest stage of them all, confetti flying, and he was holding his bat waiting for a turn. Something had to change.

Eventually it clicked and Pablo did make the change. Last summer, Panda hired a private chef, began running the hot hills of Arizona and recommitted himself to his personal dream. I’m sure that at times he said to himself, “screw this, where are the mandocas?!” – a tasty treat from his native Venezuela. But the inspired Panda kept pushing and soon he experienced life-changing moments throughout this baseball season. His personal commitment to self-improvement proved to be a real game-changer.

The Good Gets Better!

At the MLB All-Star game, Sandoval made history with the first bases-loaded triple, a drive off the Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. If you’re not a baseball fan, that is an incredibly good thing. But it got even better. In the first game of the World Series, Panda hit three home runs in one game, a feat accomplished by only four other players in all of baseball history. That’s not a good thing – that’s a SPECTACULAR feat! Even the President of his home country Hugo Chavez tweeted: “Pablo going down in history! Long live Venezuela!!” He grinned and ran, and grinned and ran the bases into a jubilant dugout.

After Panda hit those three home runs, Panda said that his mother called him and told him, “Don’t wake up!” Mom wanted Pablo to continue dreaming and living up to his potential. Like many other Moms, she knew what was critical to keeping her son on his heroic quest. He had to look up and aim high.

Write it down.

When I heard about Mama Sandoval’s phone call, I wanted to jump out of my seat. Recently, during a chat with my daughter, I implored her to write down her biggest dreams. I kept pushing and pushing, begging her to put the pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and get those thoughts down. Why was I so insistent? Because recently I’ve recalled some of my own childhood big dreams that were buried deep down. I wondered aloud, “how could I forget that?” but couldn’t pinpoint the moment at which I moved away from them.  Thankfully, my sassy five-year old self is resurfacing and reminding me that there are some serious items left on my personal to-do list.

We all have to keep the dreams in focus. What are your personal dreams – do you remember them? Yes, life gets going and your hopes tend to get pushed back behind the daily stresses of real life. Things tend to shift and who knows what will stand in the way of lofty goals planted early within us. Dig deep and bring them back out and put them somewhere on display where your soul can see them and you can begin to work toward them.

Listen to Mama Sandoval – Don’t Wake Up!

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This entry was posted on 10/29/2012 by in Uncategorized.
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