I play in three softball leagues. Yes, three. I thought it would be a good place to meet other lesbians. Because, come on. Lesbians like to play softball. And although I’ve made some wonderful friends (lesbians, included!), as my body ages, I’m finding it increasingly more rough to play 3 times each week.
My shoulder has been shooting pain any time I throw with full power, which has prevented me from playing my beloved position of shortstop. I’ve been relegated to positions where I don’t have to throw far (1st or 2nd base), throw a lot (right field), or throw overhand at all (pitcher). I’m a utility player without the utility to throw, so I’m not at my defensive best.
Good thing that this memory is all about my offense!
Honestly, I had very low expectations that this would be a memory I’d ever have again. Like I said, this body of mine isn’t what it used to be. My brain still plays softball like a teenager, where I can do a pop-up slide, where I can field a short-hop mid-stride then tag a base and throw to first, and even make a diving catch on a blooper over my shoulder. I remember having enough speed on the base paths to eke out an infield hit, or get a stand-up double on a hit that appeared to only be a single.
Those days are long gone. These days, I seem to consider how much my deductible will be if I hurt myself and have to see a doctor. Sliding is out of the question. I’ve managed to make a couple diving catches this season (surprisingly!) but I made sure I had good positioning to land as softly as possible. Getting a triple or a home run? Well, let’s say I was highly skeptical that I’d accomplish this memory.
But I’ve been working this body to work better for me. I’ve lost about 25 lbs since last August, as I continue building upon my initial weight loss memory. So because I’m carrying less weight around, I’m able to run slightly more swiftly. And because I’m stronger, sometimes, I’m actually able to connect on a hit that goes pretty far.
That’s what happened this past weekend. I hit a ball to straightaway centerfield, in the gap between the two middle fielders. Rounding first and heading to second, I thought of this memory. I knew that this hit was going to be my best chance at a triple all season. But as I touched 2nd base and made the corner, I knew it was going to be close. And I also knew I wasn’t about to slide.
It was a bang-bang play. I was able to sneak my foot onto the bag just before the tag was placed on my thigh. For a split-second, I thought the umpire would call me out, just because he could. Don’t you DARE take away my memory with a bad call!
“SAFE!” echoed in my ears. I had done it. I hit a triple! I don’t even remember being out of breath too badly. Heck! If I continue working on the mechanics of my swing, I might be able to one day have a memory of hitting a home run. But that will have to be a memory for next year, because for 2021, this memory is in the books!