keep your eye on the ball

Monday & Tuesday were all about softball.  As I mentioned in a weekly goal post a little while ago, I was strong armed into joining a work softball league.  I believe the conversation went something like this:

Mandy:  Lauren you should totally join our softball team!  It's so much fun!
Lauren:  I'm not sure, I haven't played since middle school and I wasn't very good then.
Mandy:  It doesn't matter, the guys on the team cover us anyway.
Lauren:  Well maybe.  Let me see what Joe thinks.

Later that evening: 
Lauren: I was thinking of joining the work softball league.  What do you think?
Joe: Don't you suck at softball?
Lauren: Well I haven't played in a long time but I wasn't very good back then...
Joe: Um...you can if you want but you might not have fun if you're not good.

A few days later I get a call from the manager of the gym:

Jason:  Hey Lauren!  I heard a rumor you want to join my softball team.
Lauren:  Oh really?  Who started that rumor?
Jason: A little birdie told me.
Lauren:  Did that birdie tell you that she wants me to join but I said I'd be terrible?
Jason: Nope (laughing).  But you should totally come out, it's fun!  But we are the #1 team the last 3 years running...
Lauren: Oh great, no pressure!

And that is how I managed to become a player on the T-Ballers...

After ordering a glove from amazon.com I told Joe I was going to give it a shot but we needed to practice a lot so I wouldn't embarrass myself.  He agreed and then we proceeded to forget about it for a couple of weeks.

The next thing I knew it was Monday, the day before our teams first (and only) practice.  Joe happened to be off from work so he made us an appointment at the batting cages.  As soon as I got home from work I changed clothes and we headed out for our one mile run.  It wasn't as fast as the night before when I was running in terror from the thunderstorm (and towards a missing Christian Grey) but still under 11 minutes so a plus in my book.
We still had some time before our batting cage appointment so we tossed a softball back and forth in the yard for a little while.  We were both pleasantly surprised by my ability to catch though my throwing leaves a little to be desired.  I don't think I could make it from third base to first...  I also need to stop being so afraid of the ball, I tend to close my eyes and duck when I'm not positive I'm going to catch it.

Soon it was time to head over for batting practice.  We made a quick stop at Five Below for batting gloves and were at Hit and Run Sports with time to spare.  Joe helped me find my stance again and then let the softballs fly.
I hit 3 buckets in about 20 minutes and once again we were impressed by my ability.  I managed to make contact with the majority of the softballs.  I need to remember to keep my back arm up and follow through but not a bad first try.
By the time we finished at the batting cages we were starving!  Joe had planned on making the most of our red lettuce, romaine & cabbage from last week's farm basket with a big salad for dinner.  I don't know why we don't eat salad more often, they're pretty easy to but together and so low calorie if you use the right ingredients.
Tuesday was the big day, time to show my team what I could do.  Mandy and I met up at the field a little early to get my one mile run in.  We did a lot of chatting and I still managed to come in under 11 minutes!
By the time we finished our run some other members of our team were arriving.  Mandy and I stayed off on our own throwing the ball back and forth to warm up.  There are a couple of personal trainers on our team and some other really fit guys who aren't messing around.  They hit hard, dive to make catches and seem ready for the big leagues.  No pressure there...  

The guys let Mandy and I hit first.  After a few minutes I knew what they meant when they announced the "Mandy shuffle," apparently Mandy always hits up the third base line so everyone just heads over there when she's at bat!  Next it was my turn and I did pretty well.  The guys kept saying reassuring things like "good rip" and "we'll take it" plus Mandy was extremely impressed that I hit it all over the field and not in just one direction!

I tried to hide in right field whenever possible because I'm even more afraid of the ball when it's being hit at me with a bat.  Nothing ever came right to me but a few came close and I didn't run for them like I should.  When I got home I let Joe know he'd be hitting softballs for me to try catching this weekend!  No one seemed terribly disappointed in my performance and when I talked to Jason yesterday he said he'd prefer I be afraid of the ball then that I get hurt.  So I guess that means I made the team!

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