Distance: Considering How Far You’ve Come

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Distance dre baldwin Distance 2 dre baldwinIn writing this while sitting in the food court of Dadeland Mall in Miami. It’s late morning and walking around this quiet mall reminds me of ten years ago, when I was working as an assistant manager at a Foot Locker at Granite Run Mall outside of Philly.

I’d graduated college and knew basketball was my destiny, but I hadn’t reached it yet. I spent that first post-grad year working in the mall and then selling gym memberships at Bally Total Fitness, before I finally got on in pro ball.

It’s almost surreal that I sit in this food court now, ten years later in a mall where there’s a good chance someone who knows me from YouTube will see me and shake my hand. YouTube was never part of my plan — hell, it didn’t even exist ten years ago — but without it you may not even be reading this.

Crazy how much distance — not in physical miles, but in life experience — can be covered in ten years. I knew if be playing ball and that people would know me and that I’d be in Miami, but everything in between 2004 and 2014 was not planned. I just had a vision that I stuck to, and every decision I made was in the name of that vision. Sometimes that’s more important than a blueprint, as that vision is like a magnet that attracts objects, no matter what walls, peaks or valleys separate the two.

I remember eating lunches at Granite Run Mall and I never felt down about my situation. I just knew things would get to where they’ve gotten to. Looking back, I have no idea why I felt that way, but the feeling was there, every day. I knew that those days in the striped shirt were just a part of the story to be told.

And it goes on.