Saturday, May 10, 2008

See the cover? Now read the book!

Last night was our first co-ed church league softball game. We were actually supposed to start last weekend, but because of the monster weather everything was canceled.

When we first moved here in early April 2004, they were just about to start playing. I had missed the 'official' sign-up, but was still allowed on the team. Back then we had an all-girls team...and we were not that great. Let me put that a different way: we were pretty good in some respects, it's just that the other teams were really good. I mean, some of those girls were scary-good, and it seemed like they did nothing but practice day and night. But we had lots of fun and just laughed our way through the losses (and occasional wins by forfeit, whee!). Good times.

I don't think anything happened in 2005...well, I think the guys had a team, I don't fully recall. Then in 2006, well...I could not have cared less what was going on in the co-ed softball church league world, as I was mostly lying in a hospital bed trying not to lose my mind.

Last year I joined the co-ed team -- no more girls' team, but that was a good thing, because now we were actually getting some decent scores, if not winning. It was fun! I still had some health issues I was dealing with, mostly the wound. I didn't even know how fast I'd be able to run, because being sick for a long time saps so much of your strength that running might not even be an option for a while. It was that way for me, at least. But I found that I could get around the bases decently, albeit a bit slower than my teammates, but they knew why and so weren't bothered by it.

And now, here we are...the 2008 church league season has begun, and I'm stronger and have no more wound, woohoo! I don't think I get all that competitive with the softball -- play a game of racquetball with me and then you'll see that side come out. With softball I just enjoy being on a team, watching the plays and cheering everyone on. It's just fun. It's supposed to be just fun.

But last night, the opposing pitcher said something that got under my skin. I'm fine with it now, but at the time I was just a little irked, that's all. I had been up to bat once and hit a pretty pitiful pop fly. I even rolled my eyes as I ran to first (although the fly was caught during)...I knew I could do better than that. I'm no super-slugger by any means -- it's been a while since I had some real 'guns' on these arms, and yes I did so, stop laughing!

So I get up to bat the second time, and as I'm standing there -- within earshot, mind you -- the pitcher turns to his team and says, "Probably just gonna be a fly ball." I know, I know, it's just a church league, who really cares, right? But then why does the guy even have to make that comment? Whatever, I thought...I'll just let some of his bad pitches go by before I hit the thing. And they were, and I did. The funny part was that I only hit a little grounder that went to him, but he attempted a throw to second for the previous batter and I got a double, ha! For my last at-bat I had a nice solid hit -- not a pop fly -- that I was pleased with.

I guess my thing is this, and I know I have surely done this to others but it still bugs me: Why must people assume what you can or cannot do just by looking at you? Yes, I am on the thinner side, my arms are on the thinner side, and I am a woman. So? I have been able to do one-armed push-ups in my time, squat my own weight and dead-lift 150 pounds. I have borne a child and afterward lived through near-death. But because I look the way I do, I will most likely not be able to do much physically? Don't count me out.

This really sounds like a ranting post, but I promise it's not. I think we've all had our moments like this, where people assume any range of things about us based on what we look like. I have a friend -- a woman who was blessed with looks like you wouldn't believe. I mean, this girl is so beautiful. But she did not grow up in the easiest life by any means, and that's all I'll say about that because it's her story to tell. However, I will say that she told me about a time when she was applying for a job and the woman she was talking to made a comment -- based solely on what she saw in front of her -- about how my friend was probably one of those girls who got everything she wanted, or had everything she ever wanted, something to that effect. Huh?!?

I know I still struggle with judging people by their looks, but I'm trying people...I'm trying. Let's all try together, shall we?

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