Archived Story

When things work out, smile

Published 10:11pm Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It’s not very often that things go exactly as you had planned.

Your friend’s, who planned to visit you for the first time in years, flight gets cancelled at the last minute. Or the money you had been saving for a long needed vacation is spent on new brakes for your car.

Rarely do the stars align and we’re able to do what set out to do weeks, months, years in advance.

During my junior year of college I made a scary change in my life. Instead of pursuing a career as an English teacher, I decided, almost spontaneously, to drop my secondary education emphasis and pick up a writing one in hopes of becoming a sports journalist. The decision was ill-conceived and risky, but exciting, until I started talking to the pros.

“I got lucky,” Jon Krawczynski, an Associated Press sports writer told me before a Timberwolves game this past winter. “I applied for hundreds of jobs before I found one.”


As an avid reader of the Star Tribune’s sports section during college, MLB beat writer Joe Christenson and columnist Jim Souhan became my writing idols, untouchable figures who I dreamed of becoming, or at least becoming colleagues with someday.

Well that day, far beyond my wildest dreams, was Sunday.

I received the opportunity to cover my first professional sporting event and lo and behold my favorite sport and my favorite team.

As I entered the press box at Target Field, all-access credentials tied to my waist emitting as much as the wave of a Jedi’s hand, I joined the company of only one other writer — Joe Christenson.

I introduced myself, struck up a conversation about the ballpark’s food, the upcoming road trip and a mutual friend.

He asked me to join Souhan and him after the game, in an elevator ride down the Ron Gardenhire’s office and the Twins’ clubhouse. I anxiously agreed.

Returning to the second row of the press box, seat 68, I sat and looked around. Not at the field or the fans or players taking batting practice. I looked at my computer, my press pass, my pen and Joe Christenson sitting 10 feet away.

I was exactly where I wanted to be, where I planned to be when I thought I’d never get there. All I could do was smile.