The game was strictly for fun. She is on the board of directors for the alumni association and it would be mostly FIU alumni and their families.We would be playing with the FIU Veterans.
Within like 15 minutes im thinking " oh shit, what did i get into". it occured to me i havent held a baseball bat since i was about 9 years old. I havent played a single team sport since i was about 12 years old. not even for fun.
I started having all kinds of familiar feelings and anxiety coming up. What if i suck? There was a good chance I might suck. I might not hit the ball. I might strike out. I might not run the bases fast enough. I might not be able to catch the ball. What if i get hit with the ball?
EVEN WORSE, what if i let my team down? what if i am the third strike? what if i miss the ball and lose the game for my team? I dont want to be the reason we lose. I also dont want to make the game any less fun for anyone else who is actually looking for some competition.
old thoughts were playing through my mind "Ashley, you dont play sports", "ashley, you and sports dont get along", "ashley, youre not good at sports". these are the phrases ive said to myself, and others have said to me, my entire life. im about to turn 26. its hard to undo 23 years of convincing yourself youre just not meant to play sports, in a 24 hour period.
i really wanted to back out. on one shoulder, i have fat, insecure ashley saying "dont show up, youre going to make a fool of yourself." on the other shoulder i have jillian michaels saying "feel the fear and DO IT ANYWAY." so i went.
we didnt end up being able to get in any practice before we started. So i was SUPER nervous. the vets were already there warming up in the BATTING CAGES when i arrived. Sizing up the competition made me even more nervous. I felt inferior. I am not athletic (at least that is what my brain tells me). On top of that, i am a girl (there were 5 girls and about 20 men playing). On top of that these are VETERANS, many of them MARINES (i come from 3 generations of marines). Who the hell am i to even share a field with these guys? i wanted to cry.
The guy who kind of took charge of our team was asking what positions we were comfortable playing and i was clueless. I dont remember what position i played 16 years ago! i do remember spending a lot of time in the outfield though, and thats exactly where they put me. i was wayyy out in (my left) field. we had too many people on the field and they were asking for people willing to sit out. I was willing, but i didnt volunteer. I was scared and that was just another opportunity to not go through with it. I also felt like they were expecting me to be a joke and make a joke out of it and end up sitting out and letting one of the guys take my place by the end of the game. i wanted to prove them wrong.
no balls came to me in my corner of the outfield for the first 2 innings so i was pretty much just standing there. finally in the bottom of the 2nd, i was up to bat. "holy fuck, im going to strike out". i walked up to the plate. the only practice i had was about 3 swings while i was on deck waiting my turn. someone in the outfield yelled "EVERYONE BACK UP!" im from Massachusetts. I am typically very sarcastic and understand sarcasm well. However, i am going through and insecurity stint, especially in this environment, and i couldnt tell if he was laughing at me, laughing with me, or maybe he actually thought i was going to hit it hard. I dont know, but i didnt laugh. I am super insecure about my athletic abilities so i automatically assumed he was making fun of me. he probably wasnt. no one laughed. I dont know what he was trying to get across. but it made me extra nervous about striking out. the pitcher threw the ball... i hit it!!! on my first try!! i ran like hell and i made it to first base, SAFE!
i ended up getting out on my way to second. i hit the ball 4 more times and never struck out. i only didnt make it to first base before the ball once. I didnt catch any balls. But i did get a ground ball and successfully throw it to second base. no one was out because of it, but i didnt miss the ball at least. i had 2 opportunities to try and catch really good, high, hits, but i bitched out. both times i panicked. first time i let one of the guys get it, the second time around, let one of the guys miss it. maybe i shouldve gone for it after all.
my team was in the lead until the 8th inning, where we ended up losing it. so no win for us, but i am glad i went. there were a few guys on the team-the pitcher, the coach figure, and this big tattooed marine- who actually complimented me and made me feel like i was a part of the team and not a nuisance to them. i dont think they know what a huge deal even showing up was for me, but actually being made to feel like part of the team here and there was really the icing on the cake.
i cant say ive always dreamed of this day, because i have never dreamed about playing sports until recently. but i never in my life thought i would set foot on a college sports field. I definitely didnt think i would ever play a game on a college sports field (not even for fun). so today i did something that fat ashley couldnt have even dreamed up, thats pretty cool!
there was a cook out afterward, but i did not stay for it. i kind of wish i had, for the social aspect ( i really do not get out much anymore. over the last few years ive developed a ridiculous case of social anxiety. this is insane becuase ive been a public speaker & performer my whole life and NOW i am afraid to talk to small groups of people i dont know -__- ). but social or not, cook outs = food. ive been doing really really well not straying from my food plan, and when i signed up for this, sundays food plan was already made. i did not want to be at the cookout and be the only one not eating. people think its weird when you dont eat. even worse, sometimes people think youre not eating because youre starving yourself, or they think you dont approve of their food. i dont want anyone to wonder either about me, but honestly i am not comfortable enough in a group of mostly men and their wives to speak up and say i am not eating your food because i am weak and if i do the flood gates will be open and i will be binging all night long. my options prob wouldve only been chips (doubt they had vegan burgers, potato salad has eggs and mayo, bbq staples are not vegan) and i KNOW if i eat chips i am going to eat my face off all day. so i decided since i was brave enough to show up and play all 9 innings, i didnt have to torture myself by having to explain my eating strategy to complete strangers.
i do hate that though. i just want to be a normal person and not have to plan every morsel that passes my lips. not have to cheat only by plans. or even better, a person who can eat cheat in MODERATION. i am not one of those people. every time i try to be a "normal person" i gain weight. i have to plan. i have to be strict. its all that works for me. i have started to accept that i may never feel "normal" and may never be normal. i may never be able to eat on a whim. i may never be able to not have a food tracker. i may never feel like i am not being judged when eating in front of people. i have some major issues to be addressed, thats for damn sure! but slow and steady wins the race....