The Return of the 8

Hit my music:

But for real, though, there was some real trepidation Saturday night and Sunday morning. We opened the Okinawan softball season yesterday, but right up until the game started I was worried about how my body would hold up in the sweltering heat of Halawa. I had not played a softball game in 4 months. Hell, I hadn’t done anything remotely physical since the twins were born and I wasn’t eager to find out what that inactivity might have done to my already diminished athleticism.

It’s official. I’m in the worst shape of my life. I started stretching 15 minutes before the game started and my legs didn’t want to cooperate. My thighs were so tight! Stretching required me to put my legs into positions that hadn’t attempted in quite some time and they weren’t thrilled about it at all, just sharp pains in my quads, hamstrings, and in my right hip. I didn’t make a complete fool of myself. I didn’t make a play on a grounder I should have. I made a decent play to save the ball from going out of play. I had two hits including a game-tying RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning! Hashtag clutch! But we lost in the 10th inning, 8-7.

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Mine is a face covered with sunburn and a thick sheen of sweat.

Lynnette arrived with the kids just as the game ended. Some of my teammates got to see Cole and Avery for the first time. I pushed the stroller to a bench under the shade of a large tree. I sat down without taking my backpack off. “Are you alright, or what?” Lynnette asked. “Why?” I asked. “Your face is super-red and you’re breathing hard,” she said. “Yeah,” I said. “Yeah, you’re alright, or…” she said. “Yeah, my face is super-red and I’m breathing hard,” I said.

The twins were in fine spirits. They love being outside. They love looking skyward at the green of the trees and the blue of the sky. As I sat there waiting for my body to make the long trip back to homeostasis, Lynnette filled them in. “This is the park where daddy plays softball,” she said. They kicked and fidgeted. “We’re going to be spending a lot of time here watching daddy play. You’ll get to play with Madison and Declan!” she said. I nodded. I don’t know how many more seasons Lynnette thinks I have in me, but it’s probably more than I think. Not much left in the tank unless I make some life changes. So not much left in the tank, then.

The stairs are murder this morning. Everything from the waist down is tight. My right ankle is balky. I guess we’re going to find out if I can play myself back into shape, but man, this is rough. To be honest, I actually considered sitting this season out. I told Matty about my thoughts before the game as we sat on the bench under the shade of the tree like we always do. “Yeah, mom and dad said you didn’t think you were coming,” he said. “Yeah,” I said. I looked down at my cleats. “But I think I was afraid that if I didn’t, I might not ever play anything again,” I said. “Yeah,” he said. “Yeah,” I said.

 

 

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