By Gethin Coolbaugh
Sports are great, but it's time for more.
I've had a lot of incredible sports experiences in my 26 years of life, more than I could have ever dreamt of.
I've met, interviewed -- and thanked -- my childhood heroes, such as Antoine Walker, Paul Pierce and Curt Schilling. I've stood where they stood -- on the parquet floor at TD Garden, on the field at Fenway Park, on the turf at Gillette Stadium and rinkside at the Garden.
(And, of course, I cut my journalistic teeth on press row at Boston College -- where my love of sports was forged growing up. I didn't go to BC, but the university and the people I met there opened doors for me.)
I've walked 18 holes inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. I covered the greatest round in PGA Tour history, "Mr. 58" Jim Furyk's record round at TPC River Highlands.
I was there the night LeBron James became LeBron James, when he dropped 45 points in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals en route to his first NBA championship. I was one game away from covering the NBA Finals... and he single-handedly robbed me of that experience.
I've been a LeBron fan ever since.
Growing up a diehard Boston sports fan, screaming my lungs out cheering for the Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Eagles, I often stop myself to appreciate how far I've come. I'm now covering those very same teams for a living.
I don't want to walk away from that, and I don't plan to.
I'm not done with sports. Sports are a central part of my life, and a core passion, but I can't ignore what I believe to be my calling.
I have a passion to make a difference by working to bring people together, especially in politics. I want to be a uniter, not a divider. I believe that God has put some ideas of ways to do that on my heart, and I am anxious to explore them.
To me, the desired niche of my life work's is simple -- sports, politics, and life.
What will this journey look like? I do not know, and I am OK with that. What I do know is that I cannot live into my purpose by hiding behind the walls of "maybe nevers." I can't "duck and run" if I want to make a difference.
I am imperfect. I can't and won't promise perfection in my life. However, I do not want to let the gripping fear of imperfection hold me back.
That sentiment is echoed in the lyrics of one of my favorite songs...
"If I die tomorrow,
as the minutes fade away,
I can't remember,
Have I said all I can say?"
Yet thankfully, in the words of my favorite song...
"It's not too late. It's never too late."
I want to make the most of my time in this life, and to me that means first and foremost living into the example of Jesus Christ.
Also, the "I's" written above are truly not of my own doing -- they are of God's.
I invite you to take this journey with me.
--Gethin Evan Coolbaugh, April 16, 2018.