As some of you (aka my real-life friends) may know, I used to play softball. Actually I used to live softball. I played for 14 years (yes, that's right). I played from when I was 5 years old (or approximately that) until the summer season after my first (and only) college season. So I was, what?, 19 when I stopped playing. I felt it was time for me to give it up as I just wasn't enjoying the game much (and not playing barely at all).
Let me just say that I was an ok player. I didn't have the talent as many of my teammates but I had the passion, drive, and determination that made me a hard worker. Plus, if I do say so myself, I was a DARN good outfielder. Batting, not so much. I was a solid hitter but nothing special.
Anyway, after a college season of not playing (like, ever), I didn't really see my playing time having much opportunity the following year. BUT really, my real real reason for not playing was God. I just felt like He was telling me that I was too competitive & that my heart just wasn't in the right place. I was playing for myself, not for Him and His glory. So I made the entirely too tough decision to quit the sport that had been my passion, my life for the past 14 years.
As tough as it was to call the coach, I think he kind of expected it. I know that he really liked having me on the team (I mean, he gave me a very small scholarship for the second semester mostly because my hard work made the other girls work hard, too), but I think he knew that my heart was just in a bad place with the sport. Also, my last summer season SUCKED big time. It was terrible. I loved (most of) the girls I was playing with but we weren't all that great.
But the hardest part for me was telling my mom. My mom played softball when she was younger, in fact on the first fast pitch team in the area we grew up in. I have no idea if she was good, but I do know that she never tried to live through us vicariously through sports. No, I think she just didn't want me to make a decision that I regretted (and I haven't really, except that I do miss the comradeship that comes from being part of a team -- but I did NOT miss the DRAMA!).
To make a long story short, my college's homecoming is this weekend. We are going to the parade in the morning, the football game in the afternoon, and in the late afternoon the alumni softball game. I have been in attendance each year for this event since I started at PSC (of course, the first year I played against the alumni). Two years ago, I was pregnant, showing off my giant belly to the much beloved softball parents and old teammates/roommates. Last year, I think, was the first year they allowed just ex-players, not necessarily those who played all 4-5 years, to play in the event. Had I known, I probably would have played.
SOOOO this year, I'm playing. Yes, I am reaching back to my past to throw a few softballs around, catch a few pop flies (hopefully), and (hopefully not) bat a few rounds. I hear they will be playing a few innings of slow pitch (which I am utterly terrible at, FYI).
Last night, I made Big A play catch with me. I pulled out my old bag (which grossly, had MOLD on my old OLD glove and my old umpire shoes - SICK. Luckily my new glove and Big A's glove & my cleats didn't have that on them, but ew) and tied on my cleats. We threw a few balls around and he threw me some pop flies and grounders (which I then realized that I didn't have my sliding pads so my shins will be incredibly bruised by the end of the game). Oh boy, though. It did occur to me that I hadn't thrown a ball in....3 1/2 years...BUT my shoulder hurts! I needed some Bengay (which we didn't have of course). It's still sore this morning....am I that old?? Seriously, I'm only 22. But when you haven't used those muscles in awhile, it takes them awhile to warm up.
So I will be hurting after the game, but hopefully I do well and don't make a fool out of myself like I'm assuming I will. I wish some other ex-players would play (not just the players who played 4-5 years). Oh well, it should be fun. Also one of my BEST friends, Miss M, will be playing. I'm so excited! I haven't seen her since graduation so I'm psyched. I love this girl; we were suitemates our first year at college & I actually had the great honor to lead her to Christ a few years later. It's be a superb friendship and one that can now last eternally. I also love playing softball with her! She's fantastic at hitting and she's the best catcher!
I'll let you know how it all goes (for now I'm off to change a diaper; how many of my old teammates can claim that?). Click on the picture for a link to the PSC softball home page.