Tonight, I played softball for the first time this year. The first game each season is always an adventure, as various muscles are awakened from their winter slumber and put to use in… well, in popping the ball up a lot and coaching third base, apparently. Some of those muscles have hit the snooze bar, it seems.
I like to go into each softball game with a set of goals — something to keep in mind, and strive for while I’m on the field. As the season winds down in the fall, my list of goals might look something like this:
“My plate appearance in the first inning was the first time in six months I’d swung a bat in anger — unless you count shooing Jehovah’s Witnesses off my lawn last November.”
And in August, I might have a chance in hell of doing any of those things. Tonight — after a winter’s worth of hibernating inside with a TiVo, a couch, and an impressive supply of Guinness — not so much. My plate appearance in the first inning was the first time in six months I’d swung a bat in anger — unless you count shooing Jehovah’s Witnesses off my lawn last November. Do those people not have Thanksgiving, or what? Honestly.
So, my list for this first game was just a wee bit less ambitious. Here’s what I was shooting for:
Eh, two out of three isn’t bad. And it’s not like I’m a worse third base coach with my shorts around my ankles. On the contrary, I think I’m better — you should have seen how fast the girls on our team rounded the base and scampered home. Even on walks, or fly balls, or when the other team was batting. I had no idea I could be so motivating.
Honestly, I was happy just to make contact with the ball at the plate, and to not contact the ball — with my face, chest, or nethers — in the field. Also, I was happy they played me at third base, so it was a short walk from the coaching box to my position. Hey, this is softball — we’re not out there to exert ourselves, for crissakes.
Now I just need a couple of weeks — and a new elastic band — to improve my play, and I’ll be all set. I need to step my game up on the field if I want to really enjoy the obligatory beers afterwards. It’s softball, after all — we’ve got to hit the bar after the game; it’s in the rule book.
At least there’s one aspect of my game already in midseason form.
Batter Bottoms up!