Randy Robinson, aka The RAM (The Wrestler), might take notes from Rocco Baldelli, the outfielder who just signed with the Boston Red Sox. Baldelli knows how to live with chronic illness and disabilities and keep working. And be successful.
Note to Ram: pick up the phone and call Rocco!
When Ram learns that he has life-threatening heart disease (which means that his career as a professional wrestler is life threatening), he tries to adjust. Which, in his mind, meant quitting wrestling and taking a full time job behind a deli counter.
Huh? Do you think working at a deli counter is a good job fit for a guy who has been a professional wrestler for 20 years? The guy clearly didn’t consult a career coach (lol). No surprise that he quit and went back to the only thing he knew, wrestling. The movie ended before he has a deadly heart attack.
Rocco Baldelli, a baseball player, spent several years not knowing what was wrong with him. He was unusually injury prone and didn’t recover as he should. “I’ve been tested for everything under the sun.” But they couldn’t figure it out. A first round pick in 2000 (meaning he was very, very good), he was only played 127 games a season for the Tampa Bay Rays.
He always said that he just want to keep on playing baseball as long as he can. According to Wikipedia, when he wasn’t offered a new contract with the Rays in April 2008, he had more medical consultations and took new medications and nutritional supplements that improved his condition.
There are different theories as to what he is living with. Some say mitochonrial syndrome. Others, CF. But the diagnosis isn’t the issue.
He didn’t let his disappointment and ego get in his way. He continued to work within the system by playing in the Rays minor league system. He was able to work his way back to playing for the Rays again and made an historic play during the World Series.
While his statistics improved, his medical condition prevented him from playing back to back games and he sometimes sat down to rest on the field during breaks in action! A major league baseball player showing that he has to make accommodations (work differently) but he can still contribute! Amazing, no?
He recently signed a one year deal with the Boston Red Sox which will allow him to play at a pace that he can manage. He’s not making the kind of money that he might have expected in 2000. Nor is he the star that he “might have been”. He wants to keep doing what he loves doing, playing ball, and getting paid for it. He’ can live with limitations.