I pre-ordered the DVD when it was announced and this was even before I had even seen the movie.
It’s funny thinking back now how much of an impact a movie like this had on me and my life and I truly had no idea what kind of experience I would get from it.
In 2003, I was at a crossroad in my life.
I had been at my current job for 6 years and enjoyed it a lot, but felt something was missing in my life, so a friend and I both volunteered to be auxiliary policemen in the Israeli Police force.
This entailed doing 2-3 shifts a week (usually the night shift) and getting the real feel of what it would be like to be a real policeman.
Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a cop but so many factors in life just didn’t give way to such a career.
When I was a Jr. in High School, my parents hired a career counselor to try and help me choose a career and one of the 5 occupations that resulted from his tests was a police officer.
Even as an auxiliary police officer, I got to experience things that I had never before in my life had the opportunity to do; I got to be involved in car chases, arrests, domestic abuse and even on my very first shift dealt with a suicide. (a young twenty something girl jumped from a window in a 40 story building. This is the only time in my life where I had seen a person actually die since she was still breathing when we reached the scene.)
After a few months of volunteering, I began to yearn for more shifts and became bored with my regular job.
The dilemma was this, does a 28 year old in a secure job (both from a financial and experience perspective) just quit and take a risk like joining the police force?
I mulled over this decision for months with no clear cut answer.
When the DVD arrived, I popped it into the machine and began to watch it and tears began to well up in my eyes.
For those of you unfamiliar with this movie, it’s a true story about a former baseball star who got injured and became a teacher and high school baseball coach. He ends up deciding to try out again for the Major Leagues after making a deal with his students.
While I watched this movie, I began to realize that both Jim Morris and I were in the same place in our lives and that sometimes one needs to make decisions that are right for you in order to move forward in life in order to be happier. The challenge of taking a risk far outweighs the doubt and wonder you would experience for years to come if you don’t even try.
In the end, I chose to do the 3-day entrance exam for the police academy and upon passing it, I ‘thankfully’ was able to take a one year leave of absence from my job in order to pursue this new career.
I won’t bore you with the details, but over the next 7 months, I became a full fledged police officer, but due to factors that I couldn’t foresee like my first marriage, the age and maturity differences between myself and the rest of the candidates in the Police Academy (yes, hum THAT tune, I did the entire time I was there) and having many bureaucratic issues with the way things were run, I chose to quit after 7 months.
The thing about it all is that I don’t for a iota of a second regret having this experience in my life, because otherwise, I’d still be wondering after 12 years what coulda been.
This movie remains one of my all time favorites because of its message and I always cry tears of joy when I watch it because the message of taking chances in order to better your life and feelings of fulfillment resonate with me every time.