Sunday, April 27, 2008

redemption on the diamond

Words cannot express how much I loathed high school PE.

The only sport I actually ever enjoyed playing in PE was soccer, and if I knew then what I know now, I would have tried out for it, but I was at a high school where everyone already seemed to be an expert at everything, so it didn't feel like there was a lot of possibility for trying something you might not be good at.

So sports and I have an ambivalent history. On the one hand, I actually enjoy watching sports. I even subscribe to Sports Illustrated. On the other hand, there's that ghost in my head.

I got rid of the ghost in my head for awhile by playing basketball with friends in graduate school. Great fun, and I have a decent eye for making shots.

But the two sports I loathed most were volleyball and softball. To this day, I still resent the high school PE teacher who failed me in volleyball and made me come in early one morning for makeup work, which involved setting the ball ten times in a row and other equally informative exercises. Softball? Just miserable.

Later in life I had some friends give me some gentle coaching in holding a bat and keeping my eye on the ball, so I've actually made it on to a base for awhile, and once, in a seminary intramural game, scored a run.

Today St. C's had a game against another church in our deanery. The church is larger and their team has been together for awhile (they had t-shirts!) We hadn't even played together once.

When we first got out there, I wasn't even sure I wanted to play. I hung out in the dugout, but I was too scared to get out there. Then after awhile, seeing the broad spectrum of quality of play, I knew I had the courage to go out and at least take my hand at swinging a bat.

I made contact and even though I hit into a double play, it felt good.

It totally helped that I had watched "Bull Durham" last week. I kept thinking--"it's a simple game. You hit the ball, you throw the ball, you catch the ball." And of course, Kevin Costner at the plate, thinking "Bring me that weak-assed $%@#, meat."

Before the game was over, I had hit a sacrifice fly ("I advanced a runner! I advanced a runner!) and made it to 1st base on the error of a guy who was giving me some smack because I was a priest (deeply satisfying). I eventually scored a run. It. Felt. So. Good.

Hey, maybe this week we'll even practice. Cause we totally--well, we totally sucked in the first couple of innings but by the end we were--better.

In the immortal words of Nuke LaLouche--sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes--it rains.


At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go, Emily!!

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Linda said...

Whoo hoo! Doesn't it feel good? And aren't you sore now???

We missed you this weekend.

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Knitted Zebra said...

I am cheering for you!!

At 8:55 PM, Blogger anita said...

'Atta girl Emily! (I too loathed PE in jr hi and high school)

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have to say, I really enjoyed ball, pe, and sports, but not everybody did or does.
So glad you ad some redemption.


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