With the closing of our local ski mountain yesterday, it's time to officially put winter behind us and turn our focus to the joys of spring. For me, spring means one thing, and that's Spring Training. It's that time of year when all the professional baseball players report to camp and start to get ready for a brand new season, but Spring Training isn't just for baseball. For me and all my fellow Disney addicts, there's a whole new season of theme parking to start training for. People think all you have to do is book a hotel and buy some passes, but the real Disney-philes know that there's a lot more to it than that.
The first and probably most important thing you have to do is to build some stamina. Players spend weeks getting in shape for a new baseball season and you think you're going to just waltz down Main Street without any warm up? Try it, and by the time you reach Aurora's castle you'll be the one longing for a 100 year nap. Some people try to short cut it, but if you want to be able to go all day you've got to do the work and get yourself into proper Disney shape.
When Spring Training opens, pitchers have to report to camp before anyone else. That's because it takes a little longer to get your arm in shape that any other part of your body. People think it's about building arm strength, but really the focus is on improving accuracy. Throwing a ball hard doesn't do you any good if you can't control where it's going, and the same thing applies when you're at Disneyland. You can't shoot targets any harder than the guy sitting next to you, so the only real way you can get better at games like Astro Blasters and Toy Story is to improve your accuracy.
After the pitchers and catchers have had a little bit of a head start, it's time for the rest of the players to report to camp. I guess it doesn't take quite as long to get your swing back after a winter off, but it's still something that could use a little fine tuning before competition begins. The same thing holds true at Disneyland. You probably remember how to swing, but would it really hurt you to get in a few practice swings before the season starts and the swinging starts counting for real?
Finally, one of the best parts about Spring Training is how close you can get to the players. Sure getting ready for the season is important, but it's also a lot less intense than regular season play. Players and fans are both feeling hopeful and optimistic and while everybody is in a good mood, there's no better time for fans to gather autographs from their favorite players (or princesses).
Look, I get it. Nobody likes to exercise, least of all me, but there's a price to be paid here. If you aren't diligent during Spring Training, you're not going to be at your best for the rest of the year. Doing Disney takes stamina, strength, and skill and these are exactly the kind of things that get worked on in Spring Training. Work hard and the next parade down Main Street might just be to celebrate your championship!
This post is a part of Wordless Wednesday over at Focused on the Magic. If you didn't get here from there, you should really head on over and check out some of the fantastic people that hang out there on Wednesdays. Some of them probably don't even need Spring Training as they keep themselves in Disney shape all year - and unlike me, I don't mean Pooh Bear shape.
Written by Steve Pratt