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Monday, June 30, 2008

Put me in coach - I'm ready for pain!

A junior high gym class memory drifted back to me today after passing by some little league fields.

It was a late spring day, and we were forced to play softball. My gym teacher insisted that you wear the baseball glove on the opposite hand you use for throwing, but I could't catch with my left hand. (I could barely catch with two - coordination is not my forte.) I was handed my left-hand glove and sent to the far reaches of the outfield - this was the gym-class equivalent of my position on the junior high basketball team – center bench.

I was absolutely terrible at anything that wasn't archery or distance running – especially if it involved coordination and the potential for pain. Softball and baseball fell under the same categories as floor hockey, dodgeball and tetherball for me – the "if it's coming my way and might hit me, I would just as soon duck" category. So there I was, in the outfield with a glove on my left hand, and I was facing the sun so I couldn't see anything at all.

I vaguely remember the scene; there was the crack of a bat and a bunch of yelling. And out of the glare of the sun the ball came straight at me. By the time I realized it was beelining for my brain I had only enough time to instinctively reach up and catch it - with my right hand, because I am right handed. I know I would have caught that ball if I was wearing the glove on my right hand, and the kid who line-drove it at my head would have been out. Instead, the ball literally flew through my hand, bending my fingers so far back that I swear the nail of my middle finger actually touched my forearm. (In my slow-motion memory replay, that's what happened, anyway.)

I remember hearing my gym teacher yelling "Use the glove!!" but it was too late. My instinct to protect my head was stronger than my instinct to help my team. The ball rolled way behind me and I think the kid must have gotten several bases off of my inability to catch – and throw, as now my throwing hand was useless. That wrist still aches and makes cracking noises to this day. Ah, memories.

Yeah, so if you ever need someone to fill in your softball, baseball, volleyball, tetherball, dodgeball, floor hockey or regular hockey teams, don't call me. If, however, the game is capture the flag, TV tag, or any of the above sports using a beach ball instead of the regulation ball, I'm game.

1 comment:

BobbaLew said...

More memories, Marcy. My best stuff has always been the memories — or so it seemed to me. A chance to display dorkiness!