Last Spring my wife and I went to Chicago for a week. We have been going to Chicago together at least once a year since 2007. With as much shopping and walking around to enjoy the city, we almost always try to go to Wrigley Field for a Chicago Cubs baseball game. I love baseball. I never played, because at Ames High, if you weren’t amazing, you didn’t play. So I never even thought about sports in school.
Before our trip last year, I decided it was time to buy a new baseball glove. My sister, who in middle school and high school played softball, stole mine. I guess that’s fair, since the last time I played catch with my dad, I would have been about twelve, maybe eleven. I admit, I went to YouTube to find info on how to purchase a glove. Yes, I’m a bit of a geek. Whatever. Anyway, I learned some stuff and found a glove that fit well and I liked. I think I got it at Target. No, I didn’t buy a very expensive glove. Why would I? I don’t play that often and its been fifteen years since I threw or caught a baseball anyway.
The funny thing is, that we didn’t even take our gloves to the game while we were in Chicago. We left them in the hotel room. After the first of four fly balls almost took our heads off we agreed that we had made a mistake in forgetting them. We never got hit, but I’m sure we looked stupid jumping out of our seats to escape the ball and ducking. Sad, I know.
This past weekend, at a family function, I decided I really wanted to throw a ball around. My brother-in-law, who was a pitcher and for lack of a better word is ‘athletic,’ was asked to bring his glove by me. I had a feeling I could convince him to take it easy on me. With my wife, her brother and her parents, we made a large square and threw the ball back and forth for over an hour, easily. It was a blast and I felt amazing about it.
I didn’t hurt anyone; I didn’t get hurt; and I didn’t break anything. I’m sure you don’t understand the pressure I was feeling when we walked out into the grass. I was excited and stressed. It was nice, however, that my brother-in-law decided to share (not tell) some quick and easy pointers. I didn’t feel talked down to or stupid. I felt enlightened and excited. Easy, simple tips to not suck and not hurt myself or anyone else. Check.
In truth, my arm doesn’t hurt, I felt great afterwords. I wanted to continue, but felt it was best to get out of the hot sun for a break. I plan on doing it again – as much as possible this summer, in truth. Really, it has been fifteen years since I played catch and I now have a better understanding on how and why I love baseball so much. You don’t have to be amazing to play. You just need a ball, a glove and maybe a bat (if you are going to really play a game).
What have you not done in a long time? Any reasons for not doing it? I can’t really say that I have any, but I don’t think I’ll wait so long to play catch ever again. I didn’t think I could love something so simple as I do now.