When people that have known me more than 5 minutes hear me talking about 'triathlons' and 'baseball games' and 'running', they are, rightfully, confused. I am the first to admit that my life has taken a strange turn. I have never been described as athletic by anyone, ever.
The thing is, I've spent most of my life only trying things I was good at. Things at which I was almost certain to succeed. Music, theatre, art, writing, public speaking - that stuff is in the bag. But athletics fill me with fear. I've written about it before here. I remember counting down the years and days until PE wasn't required, avoiding frisbee with college friends and laughing in the face of anyone who suggested a weekend hike.
But somewhere along the line I realized that saying "I can't" and "I don't" and "I would never" didn't serve me as well as I thought it did. Being an adult is great for people with mental illness - no one makes you do things you don't want to do. But if YOU don't make you do things you don't want to do, you miss you on a lot. I have missed out on a lot.
We had our first game last week. I was grinding my teeth the whole way there and on the verge of a panic attack preeeetty much the whole time. But when I stood in the outfield with the stadium lights shining down on me and looked around at my team in our matching t-shirts, it felt pretty amazing.
I struck out. Twice. I had elementary school flashbacks as I stood at bat, imagined 4th graders shouting, "Bring it in!" as I stepped up to the plate, and my team mates rolling their eyes. I wanted to cry. But when I looked over at my real team mates, and they shouted, "Good work, Ones!" (Ones is my new sports nickname!!!) I realized that I didn't need to cry. "There's no crying in baseball", I thought. So I didn't.
We had our second game, and I hit the ball, and I caught it and threw it, and maybe, just maybe, by the grace of God and the people on the team that are actually good, sometime by the end of the season I'll make it home. And maybe I'll strike out again. And maybe I'll come last in a race again. And maybe I'll cry on a hike again. But there's one thing I'm certain of. I am done with missing out.
|We're the Bayside Tigers. Props if you know the reference.|