Just about every achievement is some combination of luck and skill. The timing of any particular opportunity is mostly a matter of luck, but with appropriate skill and planning, you can put yourself in position to take advantage when the time comes.
We all know Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is a skilled baseball player. One doesn't become a four-time All-Star without quite a bit of skill. When that skill combines with some favorable luck, the result is beautiful.
Freeman was standing on first base mic'd up during Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox when Marcell Ozuna lifted a two-out popup to shortstop. From the moment the ball left the bat, Freeman knew that a golden opportunity was about to present itself.
He knew there were two outs. He knew it was a sunny day. He knew there was wind blowing. And, because of all that, Freeman was in position to score all the way from first when that ball dropped just beyond the infield.
As he's sprinting around the bases, you can hear the first baseman get increasingly out of breath. But amid that obvious fatigue, you can also hear his steadily increasing joy as he realizes his reading of the wind is going to allow him to score.
His mantra of "there's wind" gets more labored with each repetition, sure, but it also becomes a triumphant refrain. So, next time you're at the gym trying to grind out those last few minutes on the treadmill, just start chanting "there's wind" with increasing fervor. No one will look at you weird. Everyone will understand.
Before Freeman's trip around the bases, it started out with a pretty fun at-bat with Chipper Jones at the other end of the line in the booth. Freeman began by predicting, "this isn't going to go well." He couldn't have been more wrong.