Or don't, haha.
So, despite my wariness, I went ahead with my commitment to the softball team, figuring it would be a fun way to put myself out there instead of holing up in my apartment with Netflix and junk food all summer. I squeezed my squishy bum into some black leggings and wore my loose-fitting team t-shirt tied in a knot around my abdomen in imitation of some of the other girls, pulling my hair back into a ponytail through a ballcap (which, the only one Chantelle had was from some corporate giveaway.) I envied the other girls who had their hair braided for the occasion but I haven't mastered that yet and it felt weird to ask someone to do it for me. It's the kind of feminine bonding that intrigues me but I still feel weird about.
The league is a typical self-pitch softball setup, with an extra "roving" fielder. Every third batter has to be a female and three females have to field. Since lineups aren't limited to 9 players, having 10 guys and 3 women meant I was up to the plate a lot...
I have to admit, I came into it with at least a little bit of confidence. What guy doesn't imagine himself jumping off the couch and onto the field and suddenly taking on the role of baseball superstar? But the reality is that Marc Green was no star athlete, and Chantelle Carey probably less so. Still, there's a unique kind of insult when the other team sees you coming up to the plate and collectively moves their outfield to the edge of the grass.
I mean, they weren't wrong... but it stung.
My first at bats were pretty wild. I struck out first (with a member of my own team pitching no less!) and hit a shallow pop fly that was easily caught on my second. My highlight was getting a grounder that managed to sneak by the fielders while I was running like hell to first. So I got on base once.
I was not really prepared for what it was going to feel like getting so physical in this body. running with these legs where the thighs rub together, my boobs bouncing forcefully even under my sports bra, which is just another layer to sweat under... it was different.
Fielding was... well, I was there. Initially they had me in deep right, but for the later innings I played catcher, which is a nice break since there's very little to do there in this form of the game. The guys were very serious and we had three or four really good players. I felt a little guilty not carrying my own, watching these guys who aren't too dissimilar to my original body cracking dingers into the outfield. Worse, I couldn't even be the best girl on the team. One of the guys, Tomas, brought his wife Michelle, who was apparently a serious ballplayer, commanded second base and took on a field general role.
Daisy was there to watch, too, and having something of a girlcrush on her I kind of wanted to impress her. I know I probably shouldn't since she doesn't "go that way" (as far as I know... and I'm not entirely sure what "way" I'd want to go myself, if any,) but I had to settle for some supportive "you go girl" type stuff when I actually did manage to do something right. Djuro was also pretty nice, telling me to keep my chin up when I missed my chance for a big catch while I was fielding.
All in all, playing as a girl is definitely a unique experience as far as what this body can do and what people expect from it, and what I expect from myself. I should loosen up. I'm there to have fun and fill a role, not be Barry Bonds.
I was sore for days afterwards, especially in my arms, legs/butt and boobs, from all that swinging, throwing and running. Then premenstrual pain kicked in and reminded me what pain really is. But I still showed up for this week's game. The results were pretty similar but my attitude is improving. It certainly won't be a dull summer...