Apparently Kickball is for Grownups Now.
This is not a picture of me at my husband’s first kickball practice.
It may as well have been.
See, I’m not actually the best sport when it comes to sports. It’s not that I’m entirely out of shape or can’t play nice with a team — it’s more like my competitive side is akin to a sleeping baby seal pup. It takes a lot to get me revved up about competition because I know that if I lose, I’ll feel bad. And if I win, I’ll feel bad for the losers.
I’m a Libra. I like things mediated and peaceful. I can’t help it.
Plus, I really don’t have an athletic physique. I’m built kind of gangly and my shoulders are narrow and I’m pretty sure I’m destined to get my grandmother’s hunchback because my posture is seriously bad.
Also, I’ve never known how to dress the part.
Guess which one is me. I’ll give you a hint: multi-colored plaid.
Regardless, in the name of good wifery, I told Justin I’d tag along to his practice kickball game last week, once I wrapped my mind around the fact that there are actual kickball leagues for adults. Best-case scenario, I figured it would be an opportunity to meet some new people and maybe make a friend or seven. Worst-case scenario, I’d sit on the sidelines and try not to laugh when people got hit in the ass with a giant rubber ball.
When we got to the field, I immediately realized it wasn’t going to be nearly as fun as watching a 10K because oops. No beer.
Also, kickballers don’t get quite as high on endorphins as runners. It was hot and muggy outside, and while runners would’ve been like, “Yeah! BRING it,” the kickballers were all, “Yeah… can we go get tacos now?” Which, in retrospect, is totally what we all should’ve done.
There were a few people though, I could tell, who took the game very seriously.
“Are you gonna play?” The guy’s purple t-shirt fit snugly around his slightly protruding belly as he gazed down at my all-too-inappropriate jean shorts and flip-flops. Clearly I wasn’t taking this seriously enough.
Me? Play? Yeah, right. All I could picture was middle-school me whiffing the ball Charlie Brown style while the real kickballers laughed and then booted me off the team for my skinny knees and lack of technical ability.
(That didn’t happen in t-ball circa 1989, but it probably should have. I mean, shirt tucked in? Velcro shoes? Really? And Mom. Thanks for the haircut.)
I explained I was there for moral support, and I’m pretty sure he looked relieved.
“Yeah… I came to this league because it’s the most competitive one around.” Practiced nonchalance. The only thing missing was a sweatband and wrist guards. Clearly, he was either a former high school athlete trying to re-live his glory days via the only sport his 30-year-old knees would allow, or he was a wannabe athlete — someone who never made the JV football team in high school and was trying desperately to make it up to himself now.
I suspected the latter.
“What do you mean, the ‘most competitive?'” I asked with my butt planted firmly in the dirt next to the playing field where, just a few feet away, grown men and women were sweating it out over a giant rubber ball.
“Well, like they don’t make you pitch under-handed and stuff.” He scratched his leg and gazed across the field with an air of importance. “It’s more hardcore. That’s why I drive all the way across the water from Virginia Beach. You know. For this league. It’s the best.”
I have to say. “Hardcore” probably isn’t a word I would use to describe kickball.
But when I looked around at the kickballers from various league teams, some serious and some just goofing around — people who were taking time away from their families, their dinners, their televisions for one night per week after work to… well… kick a ball around, I smiled. This was a good group of people — people who just wanted to get out and do something fun and competitive and not all-together grown-up.
And if there’s anyone who can appreciate that, thought the grown-up blogger, it’s a grown-up blogger.
What do you do to occasionally escape from adulthood? Roller derby? Cartwheels in the park? Steal earrings from Claire’s at the mall? I’m so curious.
P.S. There’s a kitchen update coming up this week! Those of you who are subscribed to my email updates should have already seen it, you lucky, lucky ducks.