As a captain of my work’s softball team, I create the lineups and email game details to the team. My co-captain communicates with the opponents and assigns beer penalties. Other than the lineup, we do next to no coaching…except that the past two games, the most coaching I did was to remove myself. The other teams have my number and have been rocking my pitches for home run after home run.

It’s a casual league, but I’m not a casual player. I hate not playing but I hate losing even more and so I put someone else on the pitcher’s mound.

An unavoidable conflict last night made me miss our fourth game of the season last night and with the tiniest roster yet, I had to assign a completely new player as pitcher. He’d made noises about wanting to pitch and I’m a good listener.

Updates about the game poured in from my co-captain.

T: We won. Walk off. 20-19. Did u really miss game for haircut?

Me: Yes. [Lengthy explanation.] Also, CONGRATULATIONS. A walk off in our favor! My lineup worked!

T: It did. [Outfielder] hit the winner

Me: And who scored the run?

T: [New pitcher]. He was awesome tonight

Me: How’d he’d do pitching? Am I being replaced?

T: He did well.

In addition to listening well, I’m also good at reading-between-the-lines. I think it’s time to pull my bullhorn and cheerleading outfit out of the closet. I’m no longer needed on the field.


didn’t see that one coming

one of my great loves is sports. playing or watching or coaching. there’s a certain poetry of movement out on the field as the players push their bodies beyond expectation. there’s also a camaraderie of teammates which extends well beyond the turf or grass or dirt or whatever type of field you might be on.

i happen to be fortunate enough to come from a naturally athletic family + i live in a hotbed of champion level professional sports teams (go sox! go pats! go bruins! go celtics!), so this love continues to flourish.

but, if you give out your heart, there’s always the chance it’ll break. unintentionally in this case, but fittingly so as my story starts when the guy in the yankees hat steps up to bat. i pitch the ball right over the plate. he swings and my foot explodes with pain as the ball dribbles a few feet to my left. i happen to have excellent reflexes so the fact i couldn’t get out of the way is a testament to how hard/fast that ball was hit.

two days later, i’m still sporting a golf ball sized lump on my foot/ankle, my ankle is tender causing me to hobble more than glide across the floor like i usually do (ha, right) and, i’m very limited in choice of footwear because most everything wraps right over the bump. (thank goodness for flip flops and a casual dress work environment!) i have to miss both a softball and a lacrosse game, but even in situations where one’s heart is hurt, there is a lesson to be learned.

watch out for yankees fans.

just kidding, sort of, but seriously, i’m grateful it’s nothing truly major because in the last two weeks alone, i’ve seen players go down with pulled hamstrings, torn tendons in the knee, and a ruptured achilles tendon. i can still walk and in case of emergency, run. i’ll just have to hope my absence from any athletic event this week won’t cause my heart too much more trauma, and, in the meantime, focus on the fact that some soreness now reminds me to be grateful for every other day i walk without pain.


squash this

if you put the word SQUASH into a google image search, you come up with pictures like these.

they’re all squash-ed in.

that’s exactly what i look like (except for the whole, “i’m a girl and he’s not” thing). what i mean to say is that i project the same badassery that he does. obviously.

so the real point here is why was i searching the word squash and why did i just subject you to those pictures? well, it’s relevant this time of year because it’s autumn and farmers are harvesting their fruits and vegetables AND i’m learning how to play squash. i had my first match on wednesday, during lunch.

why am i learning how to play squash? it’s part of this whole life upgrade thing. and the whole, i’m trying to get in tip top shape for the big 3-0 in january. the gym is boring. this spices things up a bit. especially when you consider the fact that i’ve never played before and i’m entering into a highly competitive trio of dudes. i’m a highly competitive chick, so this isn’t intimidating as much as frustrating. i don’t like to lose. but i’m starting at the bottom and playing against guys who’ve been playing for years, if not decades. let’s hope i’m good with a steep learning curve.

the trick to squash (aside from learning how to use your wrist. tee hee.) is watching your opponent and knowing his/her weaknesses. yes, this is how most games are played, but this is a fast game (true story) and by the time you’ve figured out your opponent’s weaknesses, you’re already down 2 games to none. (maybe that’s just me. it was my first time, cut me some slack.) i think this whole “observe and conquer” will suit me well as i embark into my 30s.

*cackles evilly* yeah, i’ll let you figure that one out yourself.

AND hey, i just realized, i’ve already had a brief and lovely encounter with squash. with joan bauer’s squash to be precise. if you haven’t read her work, you really should. she’s a master at humor. and creating awesomely strong female leads.

and p.s. i realize there are a lot of links in this post, so to keep things interesting, ONE of them (no, i’m not telling which) leads to a special surprise. happy clicking!



boston wears spring well. i don’t.

things i learned on a very spring-like sunday afternoon.

i like to make lists. of things i need to do. of drills to run before the game. of the lineup. of things the team needs to work on. of who needs a new uniform.

the learning curve is very steep and we’re at the bottom. this is a very new program, our first year for the U13s and we’ve only had 3 practices. we are playing against a team that has been in existence for 10 years. they are going to be better. it’s a complex game, but we are going to keep practicing and keep educating ourselves. watch your backs because here we come.

some kids do remember me. even one who wasn’t on my team. yes, my first game of the 2010 season and i’m playing against the program where i coached for the past 5 years. yes, it was a bit nerve-wracking.  but the kids remembered me. it feels good to know that maybe i am making a difference. maybe they are listening to me.

your car can get towed on a sunday. even though it’s sunday. and i’ve parked there before. and other cars were parked there. and we checked with a police officer who said they weren’t ticketing or towing. and people will comment “oh yes, i saw your car getting towed 10 minutes ago.” and it doesn’t matter that you just spent 3 hours volunteering your time and 20 more minutes cleaning up the field. no good deed goes unpunished. and the guys at the towing company will not be friendly or contain a smidge of nice in between their beards and gravely voices. and you will have to pay a fee for daily storage even though your car has been there for less than an hour. and you will have to pay for the gas the tow truck guzzled as it toted your car from parking lot to impound lot. and you have to pay in cash. even if your purse is in the truck of the car that’s been towed away.

it’s not the score that counts. sure, we’d all like to win but we got one goal in there. it wasn’t a complete shutout. the ref complimented the girls on a clean, well played game. the parents were cheering. the girls had fun. plain and simple. i couldn’t ask for more.

i need about forty pairs of hands. to fix goggles. and sticks. and hair. and uniforms. and about forty eyeballs. to watch the game. the girls on the sideline. the refs. the goalie. and a voice that’s forty times louder. to be heard over the ref’s whistle. over the length of the field. over the roar of the game on the next field. over the parents yelling instructions to their children.

it’s about more than just lacrosse. it’s about the water fight at the end of the game. and the players testing me to see if they can throw water at me. it’s about them recognizing i am serious when i say no. it’s about them giggling anyways. it’s about trying out attack and defense to see which they like better. it’s about the smallest girl on the team asking to play goalie. it’s about high fives. it’s about the quietest girl being the most competitive and shocking me silly. it’s about them asking for help and me doing my best to provide it. it’s about the parents asking me questions to further their understanding the game. it’s about getting outside on a gorgeous afternoon. it’s about making the best use of my free time. it’s about sharing my love of lacrosse with people who feel the same way. it’s about stepping out of my comfort zone so i can keep growing, keep improving. it’s about these girls who say the craziest things and make fun of me and have so much energy. it’s infectious. it refreshes my own supply.

and, pray tell, how was YOUR weekend?