I wish I had more friends who played softball. And it wasn’t until today that I realized it.

Today was the first day of spring training for Chicago pitchers and catchers. So one of my bosses invited people in our department out into the extremely windy Chicago weather to play a game of catch this afternoon. Naturally, I brought my mitt in to join in the fun (and avoid work for awhile).

Now, I haven’t thrown in nearly four years. And with each throw I made, I realized just how out of shape I was. I felt bad that I couldn’t throw as well as I used to. I don’t have a bad arm, but today it felt like I did. I played softball for almost seven years, and I was throwing like I had only played tee ball.

Dejected, I returned to the office with the others. How could I have let that talent go to waste like that?

playing softball_2006
Warming up before a game during my last summer playing softball.

After I quit playing softball almost 10 years ago, I never really went back. I played catch in the backyard a few times with my mom or dad, but I haven’t played a game. I haven’t been on a team, not even as a hobby. I focused on swimming the last few years of high school, and swimming was the only sport I pursued the first couple years of college before the tendonitis became too much of a bother. My attention turned to classwork, the Daily Nebraskan, internships and keeping my sanity. When I moved to Chicago, I started yoga.

Softball has been off my radar for years, but I want it back. And playing catch with one or both of my parents when I go home is not enough. (Plus, trying to play catch in northern Minnesota in November and/or December is kind out of the question.) I suppose finding a recreational softball league is the best option — even if it is playing it Chicago style.

For now, I’ll let my mitt hang out in my office cubicle for awhile. There’s bound to be a few sunny days in Chicago once summer arrives.


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