Softball has turned out to be very therapeutic for me, but let me back up a bit. I used to play in junior high and then stopped when band (football games) and working got in the way of schedules. I was a really good player if I do say so myself. It was fast pitch. I played pitcher, 1st and shortstop. I could pitch and hit but couldn't run fast or throw a ball far.
When I found out that our church had a co-ed softball team I became interested but put off inquiring about it because of 1) my age, 2) my weight, and 3) I had never played slow pitch. I tried it once years ago but couldn't hit the ball.
So I borrowed a glove a few months ago, and decided that if I could hit the ball, I would buy my own glove and join. So here I am, now a member of the church softball team of 15 members, but only 5 are actual attendees of our church. We are in a gay/lesbian softball league which at times makes me embarrassed or offended, not because people are gay but because of the actions of some of the teams. I am quite sure that if a team in a church league cheered to the top of their lungs, "2, 4, 6, 8, do it like you masturbate", that they would be reprimanded for it. There are children attending some of these games and there is some PDA there that is uncomfortable even for me, even if it would be from heterosexuals. However, hanging around the "gay" ball field has helped me be more comfortable out in the open with J as a couple, and I am extremely thankful for that. Back in the '80s we could have never let on that we were "together." It's rather humorous because instead of trying to guess who is "gay", we are trying to decide who's "straight." LOL
The first few games I was put out in right field, and you know what that means. That's where they put the people who can't play worth crap. But then when you miss a once-in-a-blue-moon fly ball in right field, everyone looks surprised and disgusted and wonders why they put you in that position. And, of course, I was put second from the bottom of the 15-person batting order.
For two weeks, I have to tell you, I was bored. to. tears. I was already having trouble warming up to my coach. During one of my first batting practices, she looked at my fingernails. I said, "I know I need to cut them. I have an appointment next week." She replied, "What does your girlfriend think about that?" I said, "We do just fine, thank you."
And then there was this past Saturday, when she wanted me to bat. I said that I needed to get my batting gloves on first. I bought them because sometimes my left hand will sting when I bat. She announced to the team something like, "Well, we all need to wait while B puts those batting gloves on. She thinks they'll help her hit." I was boiling inside, boiling so much that I got up to the plate and hit the shit out of the ball, not once, not twice, but more times than I could count. Into left center, over second base, over short stop's head. Take that!
Our usual 2nd basewoman was not there so I decided that I was going to take the chance to show everybody that I don't belong in right field. Before anyone could get situated after a water break, I took 2nd. Didn't ask. Didn't care. And I stopped every damned ball that came my way, including a low fast hit ball between shortstop and 2nd that I reached out to for the hell of it and caught by total accident. The manager kept saying to the coach, "She hasn't let a ball go by her. I hope you're taking note of it."
Later, they put me at 1st, and the coach said, "Show me what you got." So I did. I was so excited but it wasn't until the first game on Sunday when it really paid off. They started me at 1st. I only played two innings each game because we have so many players, but I stopped or caught every ball and even made my first legitimate game hit, to left center. When I hit the ball I was thinking about how J and I have been treated the past 2 1/2 years and how angry I am about it. It felt so good to take my anger out on something and I plan on doing it again and again.
I had forgotten how much I love the game of softball. Standing on first, swaying my hips, waiting for that ball to be hit, chattering for the pitcher, scared to death that a ball is going to come to me, and always thinking to myself, "I dare you to hit it right here sucka!" And I love hanging around the ball field, the occasiional breeze, the smell of the french fries and frito pies, watching someone else's game to see how good they are., waiting patiently with the team with a ball in my glove to see who wins the coin toss. My aching head, skinned knees and shoulder, bruised hip, and broken blood vessels in both hands are all worth it. I am even contemplating on playing this summer in a church league. I know I'm crazy in this Houston heat, but it's the only exercise I have enjoyed so I want to take advantage of it if there's a team available. I hear they constantly rotate players anyway due to the heat so I wouldn't have to play several innings at a time.
Thank you for reading and I hope I haven't offended any right fielders out there. It's just not for me. Oh, and I have been working on my novel. It's coming along!