Thursday, December 10, 2009

Growing Up Hurt and Humiliated. Part 8

Hard facts time people. Some folks are not good at sports. I happen to be one of those people. I know, its hard to swallow. Its not that I didn't try. Its that my hands and feet do not operate together that one playing active sports needs. I can run. I can catch a ball. I can not run and catch a ball.

My dad really wanted me to play sports though, and I had to make a choice. Football was out of the question, as I didn't want to get the crap kicked out of me anymore than what happened on a non-football basis. Basketball wasn't happening either...walking/running and dribbling a basketball...HA! My only other option was Baseball. Seeing as how I was absolutely horrible, and every kid was guaranteed to play at least one inning, I was sent out to right field. Which suited me fine. The ball never came my way, so I never had to be alert. I just had to pretend I was. Unfortunately, even in the smallest of roles that I played on my team, there was still almost daily practice. I hated practice. So much so, that I would often hide in the nearby woods until it was over. When I did get stuck on the field, my coach insisted on hitting ground balls directly at me.

These things came rolling on the ground like they were shot out of a cannon. Now, I'm not claiming that my coach was a witch, a jedi or the devil, but he always knew where to hit the ball where it would smack me in one or two places. The balls or the face. One practice, he went for broke and nailed both.

Coach yelled "HENDERSON, GROUND BALL"
Dammit...why? When I'm playing outfield, there is never a ball within 100 feet of me. Much less one rocketing a mach 10 in my direction. While thinking about all of this, I should have noticed the rock that was placed on the field in the ball's path. But I didn't. Was it fate? God? Or did Coach place it there in the random hope I would be standing three feet from it? No one really knows for sure. All I know is that Coach working with physics made that ball bounce off the rock, and hit me square in the coin purse.

Down I went, grabbing my crotchial area, grasping for breath, and ease of pain...but I wouldn't find any. When the pain finally subsided, I thought that would be it for the day....surely I would be relived from practice. Dad or Coach would understand...right? Wrong. "Get back up, here come's another!" Almost gleefully sounding the Coach was, as he hit another ground ball my way. This time I thought "I'm placing my glove over my crotch, there's no way that things gonna...." *BING* Right between the eyes.

So yay. On the same day I got a bruised face, crotch & ego.

After a few years of getting annihilated by baseballs, either by random acts of malice, or my coach saying "take one for the team, lean into the next pitch" I opted out of baseball. I thought "there is no way I can get hit anymore if I'm safely behind the dugout. Wrong.

While watching one of my brothers' games, I decided to quench my thirst, and go to the concession stand for a soda. I got my drink and a cheeseburger. I heard the call "POP FLY" which means, "look out, ball is high in the air" Not "look out, ball is high in the air, and has a computer guided attack planned for my face." As soon as I walked out from under the over hang of the concession stand, I looked up into the pretty blue sky, and caught the glimpse of a round object right before it obliterated my face. I woke up a few moments later to people standing around me.

Now, I just don't go near baseball fields at all. I still wake up in the middle of the night, from nightmares about baseballs chasing me down. I wonder what Freud would say about that.

Up next, I asked for video games for Christmas...not stitches.

1 comment:

  1. I may have to quit reading these at work, I am laughing out loud!

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