I joined a softball team and our first game is tonight. Correction - our first games are tonight. We are playing a double header and I'm a little excited. I want to have fun.
Now whether or not I actually play will be determined on how many returning players show up for the game. Having said that, I can hear my friend Stacy saying, "Oh stop it." Stacy played on the team last season and let me tag along to the first practice this year. She is such fun. I love making fun of myself to her and teasing her about her own miscues. Seriously though, Stacy is the most encouraging person on the field and she helps with the fun factor. I'm also relearning pointers. (Hint: Don't close your glove before the ball lands in the pocket or you'll just slap the ball.)
I explained to a few people on the team that I hadn't played in 10 years. Well, that isn't exactly true. I started thinking and realized the last time I played softball was in the church league when I lived in Conway, AR in 1990! Like now, I was clumsy back then too. My friend Jef may remember the time I tripped on my way to first base and slid face first in the mud. When I raised my head I couldn't see because mud was caked between my eyelids and sunglasses. There was a large ridge of mud sitting atop my glasses on my forehead forming a Groucho-like unibrow. The worst thing is that I slid into the base a split second after the ball. Since I haven't played in 18 years I feel better about my rusty technique.
I've enjoyed meeting new people and exercising muscle groups that have long been in a coma. We've only had two practices so I'm not sure I'm ready to play a game or two. After the first practice I was sore for three days. Now I expected my arm to be sore but not under my arm. Good gravy. I must have really given my lats a workout because they were tender to the touch for an entire day. Unfortunately all of this was one sided. So while my right side received valuable punishment the left side of my body is just as atrophied as ever.
Despite being reminded of how out of shape I am, it felt good to be on the field. I was enjoying myself right up until I overheard two ladies chatting. One of the women asked if anyone had seen a player from last year's team. She was told the that player is now in the Senior League for 4o and up.
40 AND UP? Since when is 40 considered senior? I almost took a ball to the head because I dropped my glove and stared in an effort to make sense of what I had just heard. Granted, we have a few seniors (real seniors) in their 70s playing on our team. And I don't give them credit for just playing because they are good. I'm truly impressed by these women. I'm more impressed because they are playing in 2 leagues, regular and senior.
Being honest I have to say I was in shock and a teeny bit wounded to hear that someone would consider my age as senior. But I came to and realized that I am not in the wrong league. Rather, categorizing 40 as a senior is ludicrous.
I have never had an issue with my age. I'm not going to lie about my age. I accept my age but do not let it define me. I am 40 but I don't feel 40 (except after practice). Of course I'm not quite sure how 40 is supposed to feel. But from what I've seen in society a lot of people my age are on the cusp of becoming rutted in routine and docile. Fortunately, I have several friends who also have decide to buck that trend.
When I reach senior status I will embrace my role. But until then I refuse to be called senior and I refuse to grow old.