When my only friend in this town texted me last week and asked if I wanted to play on a recreational softball league, I didn't hesitate - I said yes. I obviously wasn't thinking about many factors like the fact I've never technically played the sport, that I don't have a glove, that it's been forever since I've even played catch.
But it's one of those things that you know so.much. about that you think you can do it.
So I said yes.
I showed up for the first practice (joke!) and found out it was going to be a scrimmage game against the high school girls. My friend tossed me the ball to "warm-up" and I thought I was going to die right then. Those balls are huge. But I caught it.
When asked what position I'd want to play, I mentioned something about the outfield. But somehow I was assigned to first base.
Dude, I was so nervous putting on the borrowed glove and walking over to the rock that was first base. I mean, I've watched enough of this sport to know that this is a very active location complete with necessary ninja-ball skills and just a general knowledge of what's going on. Both things are items I could not check off the Softball Skills checklist.
But I didn't mention that.
With my 15-year-old sister cheering me on from the sidelines, throwing me water when necessary and pumping me up with some pre-game rap music about cash money and three strikes and whatever, I was ready.
Though I might not have all the athletic capabilities that make up an athlete, I've got heart. And a strong competitive spirit and what else do you need, really?
(but no, I'm not diving for that ball and that one that's rolling by me is definitely on the second-base-woman's side)
So there I stood. First base. Glove on. All the things I've yelled at Little Leaguers over the years running through my head. "Look alive!", "Get your glove down!", "Pay attention!" ran through my head like mantras. I was going to dominate this game.
And I kinda kicked ass, actually. Surprisingly, to me. I got multiple outs at first, held runners to their bases, congratulaed every girl who did make it to first base and even caught a massive fly-ball that really, truthfully, scared the hell outta me. But I stood under the descending round ball of hardness that would really hurt if it smacked me in the face and lifted my glove up to catch it. I even called it. "I got it!" Oh, and once, I caught the ball from the second base-woman, almost lost it but bobbled it on my chest and kept it in hand. I knew those babies would come in handy for a lot of things.
I mean, seriously, I must be practicing softball in my dreams. Or it's just beginner's luck.
I didn't strike out once - got three nice, solid hits. Made it on base once thanks to the first base woman dropping the ball. I don't run very fast. As a matter of fact, I hate running and I would not like to see the look on my face when I'm doing it. Absolute misery.
Today I am sore, very sore and I have a bruise on the palm of my left hand from catching a fiery ball thrown from third. It was a matter of life or death, really. Catch the damn thing or be killed. I did miss two throws from the shortstop that resulted in some runs because she threw it wild and crazy and hard and with no backstop, it just kept going and going and runners kept running and running. She thought it was my fault, of course, but seriously, I am no ninja. I am not jumping in the air (althought I tried that once) nor am I diving to catch your bad throw.
It was a blast and I loved it. And I'm willing to try it again and test out the whole beginner's luck theory or maybe I'm just a kickass softball player.