It’s been ages since I’ve joined a softball team. Eleven years actually. Sure, I’ve gone to the gym, gone for runs, played a couple pick up games of ball hockey, gone skating a few times with friends – but this is different.
Joining this ball team for me was a liberating moment. I’ve never been confident enough to play on an organized team sport. Constantly feeling like I would bring the team down, that people would tease me for not being a good enough player, or that I would just screw up so bad I would cry my eyes out in front of people. Yeah. I wonder what a psychologist would say about me. But seriously, I would have rather felt alone and sad in my room than embarrass myself in front of people. So anyway, my boyfriend helped me learn how to throw again (because for some reason…hmm…I couldn’t throw the ball but ten feet in front of me and only if it was straight into the ground!). And I was slowwwwllllyyyy gunning for the idea that maybe we could join a team together. What does he do? Goes online and finds an inexpensive rec league and signs us up. I kept going back and forth – saying we couldn’t afford it (we could), I wouldn’t have time (I do), and that I would suck (but even if I do it would be fun). Can you guess who won this discussion? We joined.
Before our first practice I kept telling him “I don’t want to go, let’s just…let’s just stay home! Play catch ourselves!”.
But alas, he brought me to the practice and it wasn’t so bad at ALL! I made mistakes but I didn’t ball my eyes out. Other people were making mistakes too. We cheered each other on and this was just a practice! It felt really good to be a part of a group. And getting physically active felt great, too! There is something about interacting with some really nice people and feeling sore the next day that makes you feel really damn good.
It was so great I decided to attend our first ball game on Sunday! I had my friend Kaitland in the bleachers watching me. I was nervous, excited, scared, happy, andddd hot. It was a mild day but incredibly hot when you’re anxious haha. Anyway, I wanted to just say that it was really easy for me to perpetuate the fact that “group sports wasn’t for me” by avoiding them this whole time. I did more solo activities and this really wasn’t helpful for my ego or my happiness. I need that social connection and I feel like I broke some mental barriers this weekend. I was so worried about what others would think of me that I avoided social situations like that – never joining any sports teams in university, never joining any rec leagues in the summer despite friends begging me to. Instead I put myself in solitude. Negativity can brew negativity. I changed that this weekend! And the most interesting part? It wasn’t with a group of my friends. Bryan and I joined a baseball team off Kijiji.
So this is going to be one of my ways of perpetuating positivity. I am going to be playing baseball with a team this fall league, getting myself out and socializing, and filling my days with physical activity. This feels right. Plus, I get messages from a bunch of people that constantly go something like this:
“Great practice! Great game! Was so nice to meet everyone! Can’t wait to see you next game!”
This seriously brings a whole new kind of happiness into my life. I broke free from my comfort zone. Expecting it to upset me by forcing me to show people my inabilities – instead I impressed myself and had fun with some new friends. Is it time to question what’s holding me back in other areas of my life? I think so. What else might I accomplish if I give myself the chance to go for it.