As a kid, I loved baseball. Not just watching and playing, but everything about it. I loved the numbers, the teams, the players, collecting cards—my passion for the game was endless.

Sadly, we all grow up and have less time for that first love. We have careers, responsibilities, families, and Netflix-addictions. Our adult lives are quite simply, busy.

However, a few years ago, something re-ignited that old flame…

While this all started as a hobby, it ended up pushing my own personal boundaries and creative limits in ways I didn’t expect. So whether you knit, paint, or have a secret desire to learn fencing—as someone who just went for it, I can say that following and feeding that passion will inspire all areas of your life.

In 2009, I was in Chicago for work and decided to catch a game at the historic Wrigley Field. For me, it was a perfect experience. All of a sudden, I started to plan to see every ball game I could, in as many cities as I could. I documented everything about each game, from photos and comments to scores and outs. I spent weekends reorganizing my old baseball card collection and hours online ordering new ones. Was this my midlife crisis? Most definitely. But instead of buying a corvette, I was having fun like I was a 12-year-old boy.

I don’t even know what it was that made me start devoting time to baseball again. I enjoyed my life, my city, the people I got to work with everyday, so who knows why I started to open this door, but I have a theory.

In a world full of responsibilities—to family, to clients, to a mortgage—I was actually craving something that was just my own. It was fun. No expectations. No limits. No you-can’t-do-this-or-that. It was purely for my own enjoyment and nothing else.

How often can we break out of our day-to-day life to just “turn off” and really explore a hobby or passion? It’s not easy, but let me tell you, it was worth it.

Not only was I having fun, but other things happened too.

I began to connect with others who shared my love of baseball. I crossed paths with people I would never have thought possible. In 2014, a childhood hero, Montreal baseball legend Warren Cromartie, walked into my office for a meeting after I reached out to him. My 7-year-old self couldn’t believe his eyes.

Warren Wilansky with Andre Dawson
Warren Wilansky with Andre Dawson, 1980

Plank is now the official digital partner of the Montreal Baseball Project, a campaign devoted to bringing Major League baseball back to Montreal. Plank is also the organizer of Montreal’s Baseball Hack Day—a free, anything-goes day event to create a brilliant tool, app or site for the love of the game. (The 2nd annual event took place this past Saturday, March 19 at the Belgo Building).

I even recently launched my own blog, Runners at the Corners, as a way to grow this baseball community even bigger. My new goal is to encourage others to share their baseball experiences, so anyone can submit their memories, photos or highlights. This blog is my true my passion project, where I can keep connecting with others who share my love (and also brush up on my rusty design and CSS skills much to the dismay of my team).

Runners at the Corners Website

While this all started as a hobby, it ended up pushing my own personal boundaries and creative limits in ways I didn’t expect. So whether you knit, paint, or have a secret desire to learn fencing—as someone who just went for it, I can say that following and feeding that passion will inspire all areas of your life.

Explore what you love and don’t look back. Have fun and great things will happen.

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