The Derek I Know


Written by Hannah Jeter @ The Players’ Tribune

This is the first of a new editorial series in which family members, friends, and those closest to them, share special insights into the athletes they love.


I thought he was a pitcher.

I know it sounds strange that I didn’t know he was a shortstop. When a mutual friend introduced us while I was at dinner with my mom in New York, I didn’t really know who Derek was at all.

I can just imagine all of the New Yorkers reading this right now thinking, Oh, come aawwnn. They probably don’t believe me.

You probably don’t believe me.

But it’s true.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d been living in the city for a couple of years — and I know I saw Yankees hats and probably a Jeter jersey or two (or 100), but they didn’t register. I grew up in the Virgin Islands, on St. Thomas, which is only about three miles wide. Baseball wasn’t really “a thing.” We didn’t have professional teams to obsess over so I was never a baseball fan.

Derek and I met during the off-season, and I think that was a lucky break. It let us spend some time together away from New York. I didn’t have any preconceptions about who he was, and I didn’t need much more to go on than this: I had met the nicest guy, and I wanted to get to know him on my own terms. Not Google’s.

Orioles Yankees Baseball

We met at the right time. To me, what matters in a relationship is being at the same place in your lives. And right from the start, I could tell that the timing of Derek’s life and mine were aligned.

I’d grown up really fast. I started working as a model when I was 14, and traveled the world and built a career for myself. A life like that — going from job to job around the globe, and especially in my industry — kind of forces you into adulthood. The truth is: Just as Derek had lived a whole life before he’d met me, I’d lived a whole life before I’d met Derek.

Where we’d been, where we were and where we wanted to go — everything just seemed to fit.

That off-season was sort of a bubble. I don’t think I realized the full magnitude of his career — of everything — until I went to Yankee Stadium for the season opener in April. You have to understand: Up to that point, I’d only really known him as Derek, this great guy I was dating. This was the first time that I’d seen him as Derek Jeter: a New York icon, a Yankees hero.

I walked into the stadium and saw fan-made signs:

I LOVE DEREK JETER.

DEREK, WILL YOU MARRY ME?

It was a wild feeling, seeing all of that affection, live and up close. It felt almost as if New York and I were dating the same person. As if I was in love with the same person as millions of other people. I thought, Here’s this guy, who I go home and watch TV and order takeout with — and the rest of the world feels like they have a piece of him too. It was strange. I didn’t know how to reconcile it all.

I think people assume that —  because I was a relatively well-known model — dating a famous baseball player wouldn’t have been an adjustment for me. But trust me, not all levels of fame are created equal. When Derek Jeter walks into a room … the whole room takes notice. Paparazzi followed us at times. People interrupted us during meals. The only way to maintain some sort of privacy — to be together, just the two of us — was to stay in. It’s funny: You don’t see many photos from the early part of our relationship … and that’s why. We rarely went anywhere.


One way I learned to cope was by compartmentalizing baseball as much as I could, by telling myself that there was Derek Jeter, and then there was Derek. During that first year, I treated baseball like it was just his job. A very extraordinary job — but a job all the same. The workout and meal regimens, the travel, the attention … I tried to tell myself that this was just part of Derek’s “office” life.

But at the same time, when you love someone, compartmentalization is pretty much impossible. Part of loving someone means wanting for them the same things that they so passionately want for themselves. And I gradually began to realize that, if baseball was important to Derek, then it had to be important to me. The next season — Derek’s last — I decided to travel to some of the games. My managers, at times, were not too happy with me; I canceled jobs left and right just to be present at those remaining games. And I still didn’t feel totally in my element. Even during those last few months, I felt like I was still learning to identify the Derek Jeter everyone was saying goodbye to as the same Derek that I knew.

And then, during his last game at Yankee Stadium … that’s when, for me, everything fell into place.

That night, I got it.


I remember watching Derek walk out to shortstop for the last time at Yankee Stadium. I remember how he seemed to be absorbing everything — every sound, every fan, all of the energy. There was something about the feeling of that night that was unforgettable. I knew how much it meant to me. But for the first time, I think I could also fully sense how much it meant to everyone else: the culmination of this 20-year career, this 20-year journey that they had all been on together. This atmosphere that I had gotten so swept up in — for a lot of people, baseball is like that every night. Yankees fans had had two whole decades worth of nights like this. They grew up with Derek Jeter, and he grew up with them. And I don’t think I’d understood that before.

But I’m glad I understand it now.

Timing is everything.

On May 14, the Yankees will retire Derek’s number. It’s a significant moment, and one that’s had me thinking a lot about the end of his playing career — those last two years for him as a player, that also happened to be the first two years for us as a couple. Big moments have a funny way of doing that, I think — of getting you to look over your shoulder and reflect.

Big moments also have a funny way of making you look ahead.

Now, pregnant with our first child, Derek and I are looking to the future.

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He already has a name in mind — he’s set on it. (We’ll see.) He’ll say when he calls me during the day:

“So, how are you and so-and-so doing?”

“That’s not the name yet, sweetie.”

Whatever her name is, I know she’ll run circles around him.

We want our kids’ lives to be as “normal” as possible. They’re going to be born into such an extraordinary situation. They’re going to have to be some strong little people. We don’t want them to be defined by their dad’s name — for them, we want him to just be “Dad.” That will be the piece of him they’ll have that the rest of the world doesn’t. It will be special, and it will be theirs.

Still, though, I want them to know Derek Jeter. I feel some sadness — and Derek must as well — thinking about how our children will never get to experience that time in his life. We can show them videos, and photos, and memorabilia — I already can’t wait to show them footage of that last night at the Stadium. But I know it won’t be quite the same. I’ll tell them myself: You had to be there.

And I’m sure that both of us will be thinking about that in May.

Derek and I will want our children to understand that the lives they’ve been given are so fortunate, in so many ways. We’ll want them to learn to help others, and to care for others, and to give back to the world.

We’ll let them know that they are strong and smart, and that they can do anything they put their minds to. I hope they’ll be honest like their father. I hope they’ll be stubborn like me. I hope that they know what they want and won’t settle for less.

And if they want to play baseball, well, we’re gonna have a little talk first.

 

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Is This The Land History Promised?


Opportunity should not discriminate, the ball should bounce the same for everyone.  Worth should outshine color.  If we can be equals here – we can be equals everywhere.

Equality has NO boundaries.

#Nike

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Political Reforms Are Not Accomplished By The People But Through The People.


Akhenaton, Pharaoh of Egypt, born 1388 B.C., was the first man in recorded history to exemplify social consciousness in the administration of a great nation. He saw every living thing as having a divine right to live well, to hope and to aspire in a world governed by brotherly love.

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Man has passed out of the state of savagery and become a civilized creature with the development of social consciousness. Civilization is a collective state. In our collective type of life the isolationist is a detriment to himself and a menace to others.

There is a great difference between isolationism and intellectualism. Development of the mind releases the individual from mob psychology, but it does not set him apart from the common responsibility of his kind. A true thinker becomes a force for good within the group life. If his intellectual powers lure him away from the practical problems and values of his world, he can no longer make his contribution to the social unity.

Political reforms are not accompanied by the people but through the people. Behind all collective progress stands the enlightened individuals leadership. His superiority does not free him from common responsibility; his is the obligation to assume the greater burden of directing his vision to the well being of all his people.

We’ll go as far back to ancient times. Akhenaton, Pharaoh of Egypt is often referred to as the first civilized human being. Which this may not literally be true, he was definitely the first man in recorded history to exemplify social consciousness in the administration of a great nation.

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Charles F. Potter, in his History of Religion, says of Akhenaton that he was, “the first pacifist, the first realist, the first monotheist, the first democrat, the first heretic, the first humanitarian, the first internationalist, and the first person known to attempt to found a religion. He was born out of due time, several thousand years too soon.

To Akhenaton, God was not a mighty warrior ruling over Egypt, speaking through the oracles of his priests; he was not a Supreme Being flying through the air in a war chariot leading armies of destruction. No – God was a gentle father who loved all his children, of every race and nation; and desired for them that they should live together in peace and comradeship.

This was a pharaoh who traveled alone through the countryside, meeting peasants, conversing with slaves, and sharing the simple food of the poor. To the most ignorant man he listened with profound respect, for in each of his subjects he sought and found the life of God.

He could not accept the inequalities of birth, wealth, or physical estate as a justification for men persecuting each other or exploiting one and other.gal_7098

He saw it the duty of the ruler to protect this beauty in the hearts of his people to nourish it, and to give every possible le opportunity for its expression and perfection.

In his personal life Akhenaton emerges as the first man in history to bring dignity and gentle beauty to the management of his home.   He was the father of seven daughters, to whom he was completely devoted, and in his speeches and public pronouncements he always referred to Queen Nefertiti as “my beloved wife.”

 

It was usual for the Pharaohs to cause themselves to be depicted in great stone carvings upon the walls of their palaces. They were represented as majestic figures, crowned and sceptered; they were shown either seated on their thrones or wielding their weapons against their foes. Akhenaton was the only Pharaoh in the history of Egypt who chose to be depicted with his arm about his wife, with his little daughters playing about and seated on his lap

Akhenaton was the first man in history who dared to dream of the Brotherhood of Men, and he cheerfully gave his life and his empire for that dream.

ancient-egyptian-royal-families-410390America cannot refuse the challenge of leadership in the postwar world. Mere physical reconstruction of ravaged countries and the reorganization of political, economic, and social systems is the lesser task we face.

The larger problem and our greatest challenge is in how to set up a new order of world ethics firmly established on a foundation of democratic idealism.

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The Origin Of Life?


The theory of evolution posits that all living species evolved from a single living cell that emerged on the primitive earth 3.8 billion years ago. How a single cell could generate millions of complex living species and, if such an evolution really occurred, why traces of it cannot be observed in the fossil record are some of the questions the theory cannot answer. However, first and foremost, of the first step of the alleged evolutionary process it has to be inquired: How did this “first cell” originate?

Since the theory of evolution denies creation and does not accept any kind of supernatural intervention, it maintains that the “first cell” originated coincidentally within the laws of nature, without any design, plan, or arrangement. According to the theory, inanimate matter must have produced a living cell as a result of coincidences. This, however, is a claim inconsistent with even the most unassailable rules of biology.

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The Simple Life Is Best For The Body


There is no clear evidence or proof that Nature itself wants us to suffer. Nature wants the individual to grow and has provided an environment suitable for growth. Unfortunately, we as human beings over a long period of time have compromised our principles and in so doing have, in one way or another adversely conditioned the world in which we live.

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We are as people inhabiting two environments, the larger environment of the world and the smaller environment of our own body.

And it is very difficult to balance this relationship.

Today there are a great number of health experts who are very much involved in the conditioning of the body. We produce some of the finest athletes and all over the world the training of the body for athletic purposes is an acknowledged procedure. However, in the training of the body we are apt to create the concept that the body in itself in the most important of all things. We are inclined to compromise or even deny the growth of the person in the body in a deep, powerful program of maintaining the physical form itself. This is wrong.

The physical body is governed by laws, as is everything in the universe. The laws of the physical body are very simple, although they are very difficult to enforce.

Without the body there is a vaporous abstraction with no means of making contact with the material world around us.

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Contemporarily we have “the good life,” which very largely is lived at the expense of health, consisting of indulgence of the appetites. It is impossible for a body governed by natural law to work in harmony with a mind or emotion that is violating natural law. The conflict between the natural needs of the body and the artificial activities of the individual is bound to result in bad health.

There are natural protections by which the body seeks to restore itself.  The body is a tremendously complicated mechanism, but in the process of millions of years it has built strong defence mechanisms.  To function, however, these mechanisms must be in cooperation with the person inhabiting it.  It is proper for the body to receive nutrition, exercise, to practice hygiene; but in all things we should treat our body as a faithful friend. When we spoil that relationship we are in trouble.

If we live in a world in which most of human activity is devoted to a single economic maintenance, the body is going to be one of the primary victims. It was not intended to work deep under the earth hour after hour, year after year, nor was it intended to be locked into an industrial situation in which there was no incentive for the development of the person in the body.

This person becomes merely a servant of a world economic institution. As a result, the body suffers and gradually falls into a variety of infirmities.

The material life is largely at fault. Materialism estimates the value of a complete human being in terms of his economic productivity. He is here not to be a person, but to maintain an ever-expanding system of world industry. This industry takes people away from the natural habits of life, deprives us of, in many instances, of the proper emotional integration in our home, businesses and everywhere we function.

We are being locked into a life largely governed by computerization.

The body needs a proper environment, and in our present intense scientific industrialism the body of the individual is sacrificed to external factors that are themselves not necessarily valid. The body is expected to perform all kinds of labors. It is brought under the control of an economic theory in which people employ the body rather than the person in it, and if the body fails, the abilities of the person are rejected.

We have various means of combating different ailments, but we have also developed a very pernicious situation, which will have to be faced ultimately by every thoughtful person, which is the failure of the medical theory and systems protecting health.
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We are working more to find ways to remedy our own mistakes, but we are not being instructed on how to prevent these mistakes. We may get a nutritionist who will help us balance the body, but this same balance of the body may not touch into the inner causes of deterioration because an unhealthy mind, even in a healthy body, will ultimately destroy health.

We are also trying to remove the symptoms of our own indiscretions. We are developing an elaborate pharmacology, which is dedicated largely to obscuring mistakes. We are trying to neglect or kill out the body’s natural means of bringing problems to the attention of the mind.

Many of the medications that we use are actually destructive to the body and its own natural resources. Thus we have covered a basic mistake by finding artificial remedies to obscure the truth. We feel that if we have obscured the truth al is well.

We are therefore of the opinion in general that if we abolish the symptom we have cured the ailment. This is not true and never can be.

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An Organ Patterned After The World’s Soul


The mystery of the heart is something we really think little about unless something goes wrong with it and then, probably more than any other type of ailment, a kind of fear sets in upon us.  Only under those conditions do we really begin to try to understand what the heart means.

The heart is described anatomically as a hollow muscular organ of conical form, about 5 inches in length, three and one-half inches in breath, and two and one-half inches in thickness.  5d778ec5de81c633b00b228e1f894458

It varies somewhat in weight, being from 10 to 12 ounces in the males and from 8 to 10 ounces in the females.  The organ is placed obliquely in the chest, with its apex directed forward, downward and to the left, and is divided by a longitudinal muscular septum and a transverse constriction into four cavities, of which the two upper cavities are called auricles and the two lower cavities, ventricles.

The heart may be considered as a double organ, of which the right side is devoted to the circulation of trebled through the lungs and the left side to its distribution by the aorta and its subdivisions throughout the entire body.

The heart is an epitome of the whole body.  It therefore consists of three cavities of the body – cerebral, thoracic, and abdominal- as well as the three divisions into mind, body and spirit.

The pulse has often been referred to as the heavenly breath; w1 it is the rhythm of the Infinite.  The drum of Shiva – the drum that beats in every man.

The heart is in reality, as has always been represented in symbolic art, a symbol for not only of the power to maintain life, but a metaphorical symbol used to represent the love of God. Both the heart and love are the seat of life, and the heart through its mysterious workings gives us a key to the extraordinary tenacity of life.

The heart beats from the cradle to the grave.  It is for the most part a self-renovating, self-restoring function.  It serves the body to distribute, as the light of this energy does for life and survival, continuity to every cell in the body.  It is the nourisher.  It is the central spiritual power by means of which the billions and billions of little lives within ourselves can be compared with little villages along the shores of a great river.

The great arterial river, which flows out of the heart, is for the preservation and the healing of nations. We do not realize adequately in our interrelationships with others that the failure of love destroys thought.  The mind is very much like a child and it is the mind that decides that it is running everything.  It forgets that if the heart stops for a minute the empire of the mind falls apart.

The heart is not only the temple of God in the microcosm; it is also the Holy City, the Jerusalem of the Jews and Christians, the Mecca of Islam, and the Benares of the pious Hindus.  Among all the organs in the body the heart remains chief and king.

The great most precious part of our body, to which God especially looks.  

The heart has preeminence over all the members of our body, and that the supreme power over our whole life is entrusted to it.

The body is in the heart as the oak is in the acorn.

The idea of a temple is a symbol of a spiritual universe in the midst of a material one.  It was the heart of the cultural life of the community, supporting the well being of man as the heart supports the physical body.

In the book of Hermes it is written that the eternal power placed itself in the mysterious pyramid of the heart and that the pyramid of Giza was an ancient mathematical formula to represent the heart of life.

The heart is in constant motion and is the source of every motion noticed in the body; it rules over the other members, and communicates to them through its own pulsations the force required for the functions.

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Every motion in the universe thus has its origin in the motion of that sphere; and the soul of every animate being derives its origin from the soul of that same sphere.

Even if the head is severed from the body the heart will continue to beat for thirty minutes.  It will beat for some hours if wrapped in cotton wool and placed in a warm place. The spot in the heart, which is the last of all to die, is the death of life, the center of all, the first spot that lives in the fetus, and the last that dies.

Here it is the pacemaker; here it is that mysterious thing which flavors the melody of life without discriminatin.  We may say it has its own internal discrimination, but it does not play favorites with any part of the body.  It serves them all as the one powers which gives them life and makes possible the continuance of their existence, as does the sun.

It is actually in a sense the symbol of the presence of the Divine in us all.

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The Human Body Is The Best Picture Of The Human Soul


The body is analogous to humanity.  The human body as a body is a commonwealth, is the most magnificent example of cooperation that exists to our knowledge or understanding.  There is cooperation in the parts of the body which we have never been able to find in human society.  This cooperation means that all parts are working together for the common good.

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This is something we know is necessary, but we have never been able to take this great truth and expand it into our collective existence.  Nothing in the body is indispensable; all sections, parts, elements, and degrees of bodily existence are in a magnificent homogenous pattern working together forever.  Discord is artificial to them.

We are our brother’s keeper in a sense, certainly we are the keeper of the life that has been given to us.  If we are gods in the making it is time for us to make good our kingdom right here where it is.  That begins by the proper understanding of what constitutes a normal, proper relationship between governing and governed.

We are all growing and unfolding creatures, releasing little by little the divine potential within us  We may not always be able to be the wisest of governors, but we do have a responsibility to make a good try.  Beneath our skin is one of the most complex and magnificent structures that can possible be imagines and we have not recognised it as a symbol of the larger world within which we live.

Today there is a great crisis in the world.  There is lack of cooperation, lack of dedication, lack the realisations that humanity is a body, and that this body is ensouled.  The corruptions by which human beings relate to each other cause world sickness just as they cause confusion within the body itself.

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It is not easy to fathom the mysteries of Deity or the Holy Scriptures, it is not within everyone’s capacity to understand the universe and all of its mysterious workings, but when these things are brought together in a little model, a miniature of the whole, they are available to us every day in every walk of life.  They are closer to us than physical relationships that canoeist because they are part of ourselves.  By exploring this little universe we call ourselves, we not only become more aware of the greater universe, but aware that this greater universe is also within us.  All the great principles of truth, all the great wisdom of the ages, all the great spiritual revelations are brought downward in a mysterious way and locked within the body of the human being.

The body exists for on purpose only and that is to reveal that which is within it.  The body exists to provide an appropriate instrument for the measurements and for the manifestations of the human soul.  Thus the body has to have a formal structure suitable to meet the same needs that the universe had when it came forth our of the pre-existent condition of things.

The body, therefore, has to be more than a mass of matter or a mere machine, it has to become a means for the expression of that which is within it.  No rule that is going to stand in Nature around us or in our “physical” achievements can go contrary to the rules governing the creation of the physical form.  The physical form was not really physical in origin; it was physical by extension.

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