As I sit here watching the Red Sox/Rangers game (yes, I am a huge BoSox fan), I can’t help but think about the impact that sports have had on my life. I have played sports for as long as I can remember. Essentially straight from the womb. Softball and basketball consumed my life when I was a kid. But today, as I get older, softball has become the mainstay. It’s a lot more fun to be out on a field having fun, drinking a beer in between innings, than running up and down a court drenched in sweat. Okay, maybe it’s just because I’m lazier than I used to be. But I still try to convince myself that it is because I was always better at softball.
Softball has always been the best escape for me. My happy place if you will. I love the smell of freshly mowed grass mixed with just a little bit of that earthy dirt smell. And nothing can ever compete with the smell of a new glove, as weird as that may sound. I have enjoyed being out on the field from the time I could walk. There is just something about it that will always get to me.
Now, if I were to be honest with myself, I would admit that softball has always been one of the only things that I felt good at. It has always been the one thing that I knew I could do right. My emotions can betray me. My thoughts race endlessly. I battle raging anger that sometimes can’t be stopped. And I suffer through severe depression that makes me think that I will not make it to tomorrow. And none of those things I feel any control over, as much as I try to. But softball? I can do that. I can be there on that field surrounded by other lovers of the game and know that I belong. At least for the one hour that I’m there, I am “normal” by anyone’s standards. And that, to me, feels as close to ordinary as I may ever get.