My husband and good friend convinced me several weeks ago (Day 7 Risk) to join a softball league. Well the day of the first game finally arrived. And I was not excited.
Risk within a risk #1: Go to softball alone. My husband, much to his frustration, got delayed flying home and was not scheduled to get back until right around the time the game was supposed to start. The adorable man actually attempted to get on an earlier flight to be back before the game. That’s dedication. Then my friend was stuck going to a rehearsal and literally didn’t arrive until she was up to bat. No joke here. She walked up taking a sip of her iced coffee, traded it for a bat and walked on the field. Hard core.
In short, the person least excited to play was left going to the field and meeting all of these people she did not know alone. I’m a sucker. Luckily, the people I’ll be playing with were very cool and very nice and accepted me with open arms.
Risk within a risk #2: Batting. I’m a decent thrower and an okay catcher. But when I played as a pre-pubescent, I sucked at batting and dreaded, literally feigning illness, when I had to step up to that plate. Practice today didn’t help as I went after a big hitter and, once I started swinging, all of these lovely people who had so recently been nice to me began averting their eyes and walking slowly back toward the diamond. I was a little nervous for game time.
We were in the field first, I was playing short center (which I totally had to ask where that was) and no balls were hit in my direction (that’s what she said). But then, as we ran back in, our suedo-coach yelled that I would be hitting second. My stomach acids began dancing in my belly.
After the guy batting 1st knocked one out far enough to get to third, I nervously walked up to bat, freaking out inside. The first pitch was thrown, I took a deep breath and swung. Contact! I made contact! And as I ran I heard the ball thwap into the 1st baseman’s glove. My excitement died down, but then I heard that I gotten an RBI! I don’t know what that is! But from everyone’s excitement, it’s good!
I proceeded to hit the ball each time I stepped up to bat, even making it to second base (because they overthrew to first) and eventually having a standoff with the catcher. A little disappointed that I can’t have a Risk within a risk #3 as I allowed him to tag me easily without even attempting to knock him down. Next time.
As a child when I played, I was the worst player on the team and I was hated for it. At the end of this game, when losing was imminent, we found ourselves chanting, “Quack, quack, quack” and someone even threw out a, “That looked good to me Ellen Sue!” (If you don’t get either of those references than you are too young to be reading this blog. Okay, sorry, that was rude. If you don’t get either of those references, then you have not lived. Go right now and put Mighty Ducks and A League of Their Own on your Netflix Queue).
In short, I realized I was playing with the wrong people. My people, even though I don’t work in this world anymore, are theater nerds who spent too much time in a dark theater or reading books as a kid to really understand sports but like being on a team. These are my people.