Jennifer recommended I go to the batting cages and hit some balls around (see if I still can without hurting myself) and just make sure that I wouldn’t go out for one game and get injured. So that was the first MISSION I decided I needed to complete. IMMEDIATELY the next day I found batting cages (4 minutes from work) and had a go of it. I was totally EXCITED. I remembered the swinging just fine and after the first 75 pitches felt I could do okay in a batting situation. But I didn’t feel DONE, so I got 3 more tokens and decided to have a little fun… I messed with my stance, played with the timing on my swing, attempted to AIM the ball for a certain area. I actually RELAXED into hitting. KINDA COOL!!!
It brought an amazing spring in my step to have set my mind to something and ACTUALLY do it.
This may seem like the simplest of things, but for some reason every time I begin something new or try something I haven’t tried in FOREVER; my anxiety level SPIKES! Maybe it was always there, but I just didn’t listen to it. Maybe it just wasn’t as strong when I was younger. Maybe I just used food to mute its voice in my head. Either way some where my life the fear of looking foolish, making a mistake (no matter HOW small or HOW common), being criticized, evaluated, or put down, laughed at, or just plain JUDGED became such a HUGE fear I was paralyzed. And no positive self talk, encouragement from friends, or spin thinking could loosen the grip fear had on my actions.
So such a small thing of driving to the batting cages, parking, finding the entrance (going in the WRONG DOOR), ASKING the attendant “So how does this work?” (<– Anyone who knows me knows how hard it is for me to ask for help from strangers… YES that is asking for help), paying the man and walking to the cages… is NO SIMPLE FEAT! The self talk alone to get me to keep going was practical SCREAMING. Once in the cage I could relax a bit, no one watching, no one caring, and the whole point of this adventure was to PRACTICE… meaning I was gonna SUCK! Just know that and KEEP going. One foot in front of the other… KEEP GOING!!! Jennifer said I HAD to do this before I would know if I could play, I can’t chicken out, can’t NOT try, can’t procrastinate, your right here, just one more thing, just one more step, just one more obstacle…
So it begins… A series of MISSIONS I have labeled as the steps I need to take to get ready for my first game: September 19th. Unfortunately, they do not have any practices for the fall ball season, so I get to do this prep work solo. Although I have been having some help from my friends on this side of the river. So unintentionally, but on purpose (gotta love facebook) I began listing out a series of missions. The number first, the status next, description, followed by a comment or two. As this seems to drudge up some fantastic thoughts and FEEEEEEEELINGS as I’m doing it… there will be just a few posts focused on it. As it stands today:
MISSION #1 Accomplished: Batting Cages 150 pitches = I still got my swing.
MISSION #2 TBD: Fielding.
MISSION #3 TBSeen: Running bases.
MISSION #4 Practiced: Throwing the ball TO a person (not as easy as I remember) I want my muscles back…
MISSION #5 FOUND: Softball Dynamic Warmup stretches (gotta love google: even have pictures)
MISSION #6 Spent: Sports Authority – Softball Cleats (Nike, ON SALE, BLUE), Bat 33in-28oz 4 practice, Softer Softballs to throw around.
FINAL MISSION Incomplete: Ready to play Softball with people who know what they are doing and not making a fool of myself – Maybe.
Having someting to be working towards… Priceless!!!