Team Sports

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Softball “You play softball?”

“I played it in grade school.”

They are quiet, so I nervously continue, “You know, where they line us all up and you get to bat once every thirty kids or so.”

I edited out the rest of the story. You know, the part where the kids made fun of me because I was fat or because I didn’t hit the ball or because I couldn’t catch it when it came right for me. I can still remember their childish voices, “Couldn’t you see it?! It was coming right at you!”

“Well, we could sure use you. You got a mitt?”

“No, but I can get one.”

I went to Wal-Mart that night and got a ball, mitt and bat. I held the bat up to my arm, measuring it out.

“What are you doing?” Mike asked.

“I’m getting the right size bat.” By the look on Mike’s face, I had done something wrong. “You don’t get a bat the length of your arm?”

Mike shook his head, “No. Why would you even think that?”

I mumbled, “That’s how you pick out a baton… This one’s green.”

Apparently you pick a bat by the color.

The truth of the matter is that I’ve never been asked to be on a team before. I worked at a company that participated in the Corporate Games. They made fun of me when I signed up for Ultimate Frisbee.

“Look, Laura signed up for Ultimate Frisbee.”

I heard them chuckle and came out of my office, “What’s the matter with that.”

“It’s like football, but with a Frisbee.”

They laughed again, looking at my 235 pounds of girth. I swallowed. “It sounded fun, but now that you say it, I don’t think it would be right for me.”

They laughed again.

So, about a month ago, I joined the softball team. Every Thursday we meet and pray that we have enough players so that we don’t have to forfeit. We play against the large and small companies in the Salt Lake Valley. Half the time, we’re sweating it out, hoping that another girl shows up so that we have enough. When they said they could use me, they weren’t kidding.

The fact that I can’t throw a ball straight is not an issue. The fact that I haven’t hit a ball without getting out before I touched first base is not an issue. The fact that I’m daydreaming in right field watching all the balls go left and center is not an issue. They really do need me and they are willing to teach me how to play.

It’s the strangest feeling when the whole world changes right under my nose.


3 Responses to “Team Sports”

  1. Wendy Bumgardner Says:

    Great that your work team actually lives up to being supportive! I have to admit that I gave up on team sports 20 years ago. No matter how much they said they just needed live bodies, sure enough, when I showed up with my non-existant skills, very swiftly came the carping and the rolling eyes. And – that was from my boss, soon to be husband. He STILL can’t stand it if I take up a sport and just play for fun without trying to hone my technique to a fine point. He can’t understand the concept of just playing, not competing. Unfortunately, there were always some clones of him on the work team and soon enough it felt just like grade school all over again. And so, I walk instead. My walking team is totally about just walking and enjoying the route and the conversation.

  2. Braidwood Says:

    That is awesome, Laura! Way to expand your world. I wish I would have had those loving supportive put in sports but not be all crazy about it type of parents. I would like to have some mad skillz. The few times I have gotten up enough nerve to play team sports, I really liked it, all except for the eye-rolling impatience of the really good players.

  3. Dianne Says:

    My sister is one such person – the object of the eyerolling. But once she caught the softball with her eye (and got a wicked black eye to sport at all games) they realized she was trying real hard, but just wasn’t good at it. They encouraged her to play with her hear, as she already was, and she was the most beloved person on the team. The next year she broke her nose after the ball bounced off home plate up into her face.

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