Day 143: Pulling Things

Softball last night was a marked improvement on last Tuesday. But also a lot more injurious. If that’s the word. Lots of people pulling things.

I’m definitely at the age where things… pull. And I’m not alone. We had, er, three people (not counting myself) hurt last night, out of nine; all muscle pulls. All different ones, too. And everyone knew their muscle names! I was like “I think I pulled that big front-of-leg one and that other inseam one” while my colleagues were all “I have overextended my latissulumaurlar dorslectimi!”

So last night was stretching, foam rolling, and liberal amounts of heating cream applied by my wonderful spouse. This morning I got a stiff 10k in, and while I’m feeling it, I think running it out (and stretching after) will hopefully do me some good.

But I’ve learned some valuable lessons. The first is “let the ball fall into the glove.” The others mainly have to do with warming up; the pulls (for me) were all from sprinting off home plate. If there were a version of softball where you hit the ball and then run a measured 5k, I think I’d be fine. But my muscles clearly aren’t used to moving real fast, real quick.

I’m pulling things, but not pulling drinks.

That was a forced pun, sorry. But it’s true — and I don’t think there’s really much of a drinking vibe among the group in general, which is a relief. A couple people might have gone out for a beer afterwards, but there’s no feeling of exclusion as a non-drinker. Which I wasn’t, like, super worried about but it’s still there, you know? Nobody likes being the odd person out.

Definitely feeling my age today, though. And my lack of softball competence, but I’ve come to an understanding with it. Tally ho!

Day 136: Practice

So it turns out I’m really bad at softball. I mean, I’m not surprised by this news. But you always go into these things thinking “maybe I’ve got a undiscovered knack for this!” and hoping that you might turn out to be pretty gifted. So practice is the question on my mind today.

I’m not gifted.

I’m… ungifted. Anti-gifted. What’s the opposite of a gift? I’m indebted.

The good news, on the sobriety front, is that it doesn’t seem to be a “beer after the game” group. So no new social pressures to go hang out with drinking people and have awkward conversations. Hooray!

The other good news is that of the dozen of us, maybe two are good players, another two are halfway competent or naturally gifted, and more than half of us are also kludges. So I’m not, like, the mascot. And we all have a pretty good time. Lots of laughter.

But yes, one of the takeaways is that my softball skills are not on point. Softball, as it turns out, has a mercy rule: eight runs ends a team’s at-bat. So we only lost, er, by 48-5. I hit the ball each time I was at bat! There’s something.

To practice or not to practice?

I took this on as a Tuesday evening commitment only. But after our performance last night, a few of us want to get together to practice. Lunchtimes, maybe after work on Fridays. Throw the ball around. Bat. That stuff.

And I’m now in the conflict of I’m doing something and I’m bad at it and I want to be good at it, versus I have too much on my plate as it is. 

I’m probably making this all heavier than it needs to be. A less neurotic person would say “do it when you feel like it.” That’s probably good advice. But that’s not how I’m wired — I have to plan and commit, or it probably won’t happen.

It’s not a question I’m going to answer right now, but it’s on my mind today.

Day 135: Softball and routines

Have you ever signed on for something that you almost immediately had misgivings about? I’m up for the first game for our workplace softball team tonight. And I’m a bit anxious.

A bit anxious about the softball. I’m… not good. I’m in reasonably good shape, despite being overweight. But it’s kind of “distance running” good shape, not “athletic feats” good shape. If you know what I mean. So while the softball league is super casual and supposed to be fun, social anxiety does drive a fear of embarrassment there.

A bit anxious about sobriety. Again, not so much. I’ve got it in the bag, I think. I’m comfortable telling people I’m not drinking. My workmates are cool. But it’s going to be another drinking factor in my life. And while I’m okay with not drinking when others are, surrounding myself with it is not great.

Mostly about sleep. The games theoretically run from 7 to 8:30, which means I’ll be home by 9-9:30, asleep by 10. That’s still enough time to get seven hours before a 5 a.m. wake-up to run. But it’s still a late night for me. It’s going to be hard to stay on the checklist and maintenance.

If you can’t get out of it, get into it.

That’s something I picked up from the Happier podcast, back when I was listening to it. It’s good advice. I’ve signed up for softball, and while I have reservations, I’m going to be the softest softballer that ever balled a softball. There’s a whole lot wrong with that sentence.

But I signed up for it. And I signed up to be part of a team. And a team of people I work with. So it’s incumbent on me to give it my all, and if I have concerns, leave them, well, off the field.

So: softball tonight! I will softball. I will be the softballiest.