Unexplainable Joy - Daniel Norris

This season we obviously didn’t win as much as we’d like to, but we were working hard every day. And despite the fact our record wasn’t phenomenal, we’re making progress. 

I also woke up each day this season with unexplainable joy. We all have good days and bad days, and I had days when I didn’t pitch as well as I’d like, but compared to last year — when I was stressed out and injured — I really enjoyed the game and I feel good about where I am. It’s often easy when you’re in the midst of a hard season to look ahead and just chalk it up to a rough year, hoping you’ll make it through, but that’s not at all how I see this year. 

I had a number of people come up to me and compliment me on my day-to-day attitude and the joy they see in me. This year, more than ever before, I felt that joy. It’s easy to fake a smile or put on a good face, even if we’re broken inside, but this season I genuinely felt joyful.

With a much younger team this year, I found myself in a veteran role. Though a lot of the rookies were my age, I have been in the league for five years now and I know these guys are looking up to me. Just as I learned from the veterans on my team when I was 21 and just entering the league, these guys are learning from me. It’s a fun role for me, and one that is a privilege. That’s why it’s so important for me to have joy every day. I want to be a teammate who exudes joy. The choice of joy is ultimately up to you, but by surrounding yourself with joyful people, you’ll set yourself up for success.

The 2018 season shed light on what really matters. Instead of imagining the worst-case scenario, I was in it. After finding myself in my worst nightmare, I was still able to be happy and continue doing what I love doing. Knowing I’ve been there and have come back makes me grateful for this 2019 season. Even if my numbers weren’t the best of my career and the season wasn’t amazing, I took every day as a gift so I could make the most of it.

Each day I looked forward to going out on the field for a chance to get better. I fell asleep thinking about it at night. I’ve never loved the game so much in my life; I really couldn’t wait to get up and play! When I think about my training and the amount of work I was putting in, I could see the benefits I was reaping and gaining a peace about. I knew I became better — stronger — each day. Knowing I was doing all I could brought me so much peace and joy in the game, no matter what the outcome was.

— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher

Daniel Norris is a regular contributor to The Increase and provides monthly articles and opinions. Check out Daniel’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/daniel-norris/ 

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