Some days you’re the foot, some days you’re the ball.

Every Thursday night, my husband and I compete in a coed kickball league. It’s a poorly organized group of friends who get together with the sole purpose of having a few beers, a few laughs and, if time allows, a few runs.

The teams we play against range from the least competitive to the die-hard athletes, which means every Thursday can be a very different experience.

I had a particularly hard day at work today and was not feeling my usual, bubbly, optimistic-self when it came time to change clothes and head to the field. I was mopey, aloof, and overall wanted nothing to do with humanity. Quite unlike me, I must note.

My husband, the good guy that he is, tried to talk me out of it on the drive to the game.

Bad idea.

I assaulted his ears with a rant about my day in the office: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright perverse. I’m pretty sure he can never unhear some of the baggage I laid out for him. Yet, amazingly, he tolerated it all and in good spirits. [This must be why I married the guy!]

We arrived at the kickball field with me feeling only marginally better. I was still morose, disinterested, and overall enjoying my pity-party. Fortunately for the gang we play with, I was one of the first up at bat.

I’m convinced the pitcher was on performance-enhancing drugs, despite the fact that this is an intramural, coed, nothing-to-gain league. The first pitch flew over the plate at a speed that practically broke the sound barrier. I made a valiant swing and a MISS.

STRIKE!

Well. I don’t strike very often, so that was a doozy.

I shook it off, trying to get the angry and stressed out thoughts from my mind. I had a game to win.

The pitch! And a kick!

FOUL.

Well, then. At least I made contact.

Quick stretch of the legs before the next pitch.

Sttttttt—-rike!

What the heck?!

OK, now this isn’t going to work. I’m a competitive little girl. Woman. Girl. Whatever. I don’t strike out. Did I just get two in a row? Uh oh.

I gave my head another valiant shake.

NO. I do not strike out.

The next pitch came.

BALL.

Huh. Is the pitcher messing with me now?

One more pitch.

BALL.

Oh, come on.

The umpire announced the standings: Two balls, two strikes, and a foul.

Wait, what?

CRAP.

Here I was, one of the first at bat, and I was either going to strike out or be walked. What in the world was happening?

It was right about then that I realized I had two choices. I could stand at the plate and wait for the pitch, biding my time, and hope – just hope – that the pitcher would throw a ball and that I could avoid striking out in front of my friends. Or, I could risk it and just kick the hell [pardon my language] out of the next ball he threw and just hope for the best. What was it going to be?

You know, some days – we have no idea what is going to be served to us by life. It could be good. It could be bad. It could be any where in between. We can either sit back and wait to see what we’re delivered and hope for the best… or we can CHARGE at life and hope we knock one out of the park. The decision, at the end of the day, is up to us.

So what did I decide?

The next pitch came, as fast as the one before. It was beautiful: the perfect double bounce before the plate.

My leg swung before my brain knew what was happening.

Contact.

The ball went flying.

Should I watch for it? Check to see if it’s a foul?

NO. My brain said run. So I did.

You know, some days you just have to run and hope for the best. Hope the 2nd baseman is blinded by the skylights. Or that you’re ball will drop early, catching the shortstop off guard. Regardless of what happens, you have to RUN YOUR ASS OFF. Ultimately, you don’t know if it’s going to be a home run or a pop-fly. You just pray that you hit it hard enough, strong enough, and that this one will be out of the park.

And you know what? Some days it is.

~ Victoria Elizabeth

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