Thursday, July 14, 2011

Afraid of the Ball

I am

v.v.v.v.v..v.v.v. afraid
scared sh!tless of THE ball.

Naturally I joined a softball team.

I have never been a member of a team. And I am generally terrified of the ball in all games involving balls like kickball, dodge ball, basketball, volleyball, soccer and of course, softball.

(sidenote, I was beat up by the softball team in college, reaffirming my general fear).

The ball, as it flies through the air, is like a grenade headed right for my head. My fears: my teeth will be knocked out or I will try to catch it and miss it and look like a big jerk or worse--I will stand motionless, frozen in a state of psychosis, unable to attempt to catch it and just become the biggest disappointment on the team. The weak link. The girl on the bench, who spent too much money on her cleats (sidenote, my cleats are super cute).
What am I supposed to do with this thing?

I've avoided team sports my entire life. 

As a result, I am a 30-something who suffers from generalized confusion about how to behave during a game. Do I run for the ball? Or do I let a stronger player run? Do I swing the bat? And when? And then what? And what is an appropriate level of team spirit? And do I look ridiculous? Like a total pretender who is trying to be sporty girl, but really is just a general fraud?

It makes everything a bit more difficult. It is also something I never want my children to see. My girls--who can be sporty or not--they can be anything. They can be everything. If they see me shrink away from softball--they will know they can avoid things that might not feel natural (which is totally not allowed in my-life-without-limits-parenting-style)

So, I joined a softball team, with an obscene name (Moustache Rides) and with Mike (who is sporty, v. sporty and coordinated). 

 I am really trying hard not to run-like-a-girl-who-just-stepped-on-a-bee-during-a-fire-fight when the ball is headed my way. I am dressing the part (yes, with the cute cleats), but also with a glove, a bat, a hat and some war paint (not necessary, but maybe no one will recognize me if I am in disguise).  And I am resisting my urge to go all evangelic-yoga on my teammates--demanding meditation and asana before game time.

But I am tearing a page from my yoga playbook. I've learned that showing up on my mat--even when I don't want to, even when I don't think I can even attempt crow or headstand or handstand or wheel--is all that matters. It is the action and the attempt--not the outcome that makes us winners. 

I am showing up tomorrow, 9:15 p.m., when the Moustache Rides take on the Swingers (seriously, who named these teams?).  I'll be the girl in the cute cleats.


  1. well written! I am afraid of the ball as well LOL...I have always avoided sports, but love the fact that Jordyn loves playing ball.

  2. I always avoided team sports--individual endeavors were my thing. But now, with the girls, I don't want to limit their options (and I think it would be totally bad ass if they kicked butt at a sport). So, I hear ya Candice! ( : who knows, maybe you will join a softball team!

  3. I love it. I nodded in agreement and laughed all at once. Except my fear isn't so much the game as other things.