Ten years ago, a conversation came up between my Dad and his next door neighbor (and close friend) Tom about forming a co-ed softball team to play on Friday nights at Lippold Park near our house. There is a 14” mush ball softball league that is very popular there. To form a team, you must have an equal number of men and women. Dad and Tom thought it would be a blast to have me and Tom’s two daughters on the team. A little Father/Daughter thing. All of us girls played competitive softball in our childhood!
**Sidenote: Tom’s daughters are about 12 &14 years younger than I am… AND I used to be their babysitter**
Anyhoo, the five of us put feelers out to find teammates to form a team. And we were successful. The remaining players were more in the 21-22 year old age group. I was 34 and Dad was 64. What could go wrong? 😬
The whole season was so much fun. Dad’s knees were shot so he was all time pitcher. He and I both relived our youths (with a bunch of actual youths).
We went out to dive bars afterwards. Even a couple impromptu bar crawls. Had cheap bar pizzas and popcorn baskets. Did shots. Dad was in heaven. Those kids made him feel young again. It was always so fun to see different sides of him.
Now a lot of these teams were able to field teams… but it was evident that their female representation was there just to have fun and fulfill the male:female ratio. Which is totally fine!
Then there was out team… Competitive bunch of ex-players. We were sliding into bases, diving for fly balls, making double plays and hitting the crap out of the ball. Our motto was “we don’t half ass anything. We ALWAYS whole ass!”
Which leads me to the current debacle I’m living. At the very last game of that season I (who have been known to be competitive at EVERYTHING I do) got up to bat. Of course swung for the fence (or the moon) and felt something hurt a bit in my shoulder. I wish I could say it was a homer over the fence.. but it was a ground out in the infield. My next at bat hurt even more.
I had it checked out and was misdiagnosed. “Just muscular” and “likely bursitis”. Did PT a couple times. No relief.
Fast forward ten years (of pain) I saw another doctor who told me I needed surgery. I had a couple tears and several other issues that I won’t get into. But he knew he needed to repair three things for sure; possibly five. I just had that surgery last week, and as I sit here recovering (typing one handed) I’m reflecting on that summer. I don’t regret a thing. I’d do it all again if I could.
I am so grateful for that summer. Even if I’m never the same physically again. It was the summer that my Dad and I had the rare opportunity to be kids together.
If you can find something that you can do that revisits something amazing from your youth, do it! Share it with your kids or partner or friends. It touches a different place inside of your heart.
And don’t half ass it! The memory will outweigh the *possible* aftermath.