I was going to be a baseball player

In middle school, one of my teachers asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember timidly responding, “I want to be a baseball player.” Well, it wasn’t for a few more years that I would lose my love for the sport (and haven’t ever regained it :)) but up until then, I believed I could do it.

2 me and Whitney Williams

me in 5th grade sporting a Semper Paratus shirt.

Childish dreams, that’s what it was. I didn’t have the talent, and even if I had the drive and the willingness to work hard at it, I didn’t have the talent. Have I mentioned that I didn’t have the talent? But kids don’t think about what it actually takes to make it in professional sports. Or anything professional, really. It takes time, dedication, and oh yeah, talent.

The last year I played organized baseball was in 8th grade. Something flipped and I didn’t care to play anymore. When I went off to college (I say “went off” like my parents didn’t live right down the street), I played intramural softball for a winning team, albeit we were all students not playing for any school-sanctioned team of any sport whatsoever, but we were the best intramural team at FSU for 3 or 4 years running. #stillhavemyjersey #livinginthepast

As a grown man, yes I’m a grown man!, I love playing softball and even if most leagues I’ve been in fall into the “beer league” category, I’m still competitive and I’ll push a guy if it comes to that. Hmm, maybe I’m just living out the broken dreams of a middle school kid who just wants to come back to his hometown and ask his dad, “Are you prouda me, Pops?” like some dramatic New Jersey school dropout with a strong accent.

It’ll never happen, though, because my dad doesn’t go by “Pops”. Dang it!

-Out of the Wilderness

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I’m just standing here watching airplanes…

When I played Little League, I’d say a conservative estimate of all the airplanes I looked at when they flew over the fields was all of them. I remember coaches telling me to pay attention. I was paying attention. To the airplanes. I can’t say what it was that captured my attention so wholly, but they did.

And they still do.

I’ll be standing on the mound about to toss an underhand lob to an eagerly waiting batter in adult league co-ed softball and I hear one. I look up to see the lights flickering overhead.

Or like today when I was mowing my front yard for the first time this year. Standing still, mower running, glaring into the blue sky as a plane that just took off screams overhead.

I don’t know why I do the things I do. Maybe I was a pilot in a previous life. Or an airplane. But one thing is for sure… I WAS PAYING ATTENTION, COACH! Whew, sorry. I’ve had that bottled up for 20 years, I guess.

-Out of the Wilderness

How to tell if someone is left-handed, and other information on left-handedness

watch on rightIs there a way to determine if someone is left-handed without asking them? Yes! Just check which wrist their watch is on. In general, left-handed people wear watches on their right wrist, and righties will wear it on the left wrist. There are a (left)handful of explanations for this:

  1. It’s easier to do things with the dominant hand (write, throw, etc) without wearing a watch on that wrist
  2. It’s easier to read the time on the wrist not already doing something.
  3. A person would probably use their more dominant hand (more skilled, more comfortable, etc) to do the work of strapping the watch on the opposite wrist.

I know for me it’s easier to latch a watch on my right wrist, using my left hand to work the clasp, than using my right hand to latch it on my left. Oh yeah, I might as well tell you now, I’m left-handed! I know there aren’t a lot of us around. Statistics show that only 10% of the world’s population are left-handed… so you’re welcome, world, for gracing you with our presence! Just send cards and gifts to me directly, you should already know my address.

Just the other day I was playing sand volleyball and was 1 of 3 lefties on a 6-person team. It was awesome! We won every single game, even the games we lost! I love being left-handed. Partly because it draws attention, and because I feel like part of an exclusive club. Other members of the club include Prince William, Angelina Jolie, Kurt Cobain, Keanu Reeves, Terry, Nicole Kidman, Mary-Kate Olsen, Lady Gaga, Ben Stiller, Ava, Dale Earnhardt, Jr, former President Obama, Jim Carrey, Paul, and Deion Sanders, just to name a few.

But it’s not always glamourous. Can you imagine Ben Stiller searching for a lefty-friendly desk in school? Deion Sanders going to three different sports stores to find a baseball glove? Mary-Kate not knowing which thumb to raise when she said, “You got it, dude!”? President Obama finding a smooth-writing pen to sign all his executive orders? It’s so sad to think about.

To be hated cordially, is only a left-handed compliment.
-Herman Melville

There are a couple of dated words that represent lefties, as well. The word “southpaw” is thrown around on baseball fields, referring to left-handed players. The term is still used today, although the origination is up for some debate, as stated here. Another word, and this one might surprise you, is “sinister.” It’s incredible to me that a word now mostly associated with horror movies, evil characters, and harm had anything to do with left or left-handedness.

We can’t help it, we were born this way!

sinister
-Out of the Wilderness

*Terry- my mom, Ava- my niece, Paul- a guy who plays sand volleyball on Tuesdays.

 

 

Meeting the Ex’s Next

I’ve always thought our relationship was like Tom and Summer’s in (500) Days of Summer. When we were together, we weren’t ever quite on the same page. And there was a time after our breakup I really wanted to find (spoiler alert) Autumn first, like it was a competition. Honestly, what I really wanted was for her to find out I was with someone else, as if her jealousy would gratify me. That was a long time ago.

handshake

an example of a handshake

But I still didn’t know how it would feel to find out she had a new boyfriend. And in a dramatic twist, not only would I find out she did have a new boyfriend, I’d have the chance to meet him within the same hour! Holy I-Hope-This-Isn’t-Like-the-Dream-Sequence-In-Dumb & Dumber-When-Lloyd-Meets-Mary-(Samsonite)-Swanson’s-Husband, Batman! It was a curveball I wasn’t expecting. But hey, I’m a heck of a baseball player!

I was standing by the chili station at the company Christmas party and suddenly, there she was. And there he was. After the quick let’s-not-make-this-more-awkward introductions, I turned to the pot of chili. My buddy later asked, “On a scale of 10, how weird was that?” The answer is so refreshing. It was a zero. And it really was.

But if anyone had the expectation that I’d be happy for her, they’d be disappointed. I’m not upset or jealous either. I’m somewhere in the ballpark of indifference. And in reality, that’s a win.

-Out of the Wilderness

She’s Not the Kind of Girl Who’s Single For Long: Part 2

She wasn’t single for long. Nope, not at all! It was because my husky physique, my mild manners juxtaposed to my aggressive ambition, my good looks and of course, my athletic ability… had no affect on her whatsoever. She ended up dating a baseball player! I’ll admit his physique was huskier, his manners were milder, his good looks were goober, and he was slightly more athletic, but only slightly more athletic! Afterall, I’m eating blueberries now, so I’ll be an average athlete well into my 80s I bet!

I don’t think this girl was thinking long term at all.

(for part 1 of this post, click here)

Sports, and Why Guys Like Them

Football. Baseball. Hockey. Basketball. Tennis. Soccer. Nascar. What do these sports have in common? There must be a winner. Of all the rules in all of sports (and let’s face it, in some sports there are way too many rules (yes I’m talking to you NFL)), requiring a winner is the single most attractive thing about sports. If you then connect this all-important rule to the male mind, it’s very easy to see why guys like sports. Because in a guy’s mind, there is order. There is a #1. There is a #2. There is a #3 and so on.Open up the passion for sports in a more broad fashion, and you’ll discover it’s more about competing than it is about the actual sport, though. My favorites to play are football and basketball. My favorite to watch is football. But my ultra favorite thing to do? Win. It can be pick-up basketball at the Y, it can be a 5K race or a race up the stairs. It can also be something as absurd as the Nashville Fantasy Bachelor League. Guys want to be #1. And when we can’t be, we cheer for a team we think can.

Lance Armstrong, Tour De France winner

A friend of mine is a self-proclaimed sports agnostic. He’s not against athletics, he’s not against athletes. But he is against those fanatics. If you’re interested, his thoughts on the subject are posted here. What I submit to him is the idea that sports should be viewed on a broader scale (like I mentioned, it’s more about competing).If my friend were to watch a football game the way he writes blogs, I think he may begin to understand. Yes, my friend is a writer. And before you say, “Well, no wonder the flower child doesn’t like sports! He’s one of those weirdo creative types,” you should know that he is an Alabama Crimson Tide fan as well (Now you have my permission to say it). His allegiance to Alabama is more for the sake of picking a side (Alabama or Auburn) than it is about actually liking the team, but hey, at least he’s aware that there are sides in that fight.When my friend writes, he spends time and energy making the delivery and presentation a top notch product. Why? It’s not so the reader will like it. It’s so the reader will like it more than anything else they read. When the Seattle Seahawks take the field against the New Orleans Saints they want to run the right plays and score points, but not just to play well. They want to win the game and be the best in the league. My friend writing to be the best and the Seahawks playing to be the best are the same thing.

Why guys likes sports can be summed up in four points.
Challenge. It’s exciting to push skills to the limit, and watch other people do the same.
Competition. An exciting way to measure talents, passions and skills.
Hitting. Guys like to hit things, or watch people hit things.
Hierarchy. There must be a #1. This idea is built into the male DNA. If you’re a guy, you are born with the desire to be king of the mountain, and have songs written about your halls. 

Spring Is Here!

I recently noticed the leaves on the trees in my backyard.

Spring is here!

One tree has a bunch of spinny things that float down to the ground. Another has some tiny green leaves. This weekend I will mow my grass.

Spring is here!

Television stations are airing finales and cueing up the re-runs. Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining overhead.

All this means one thing: Baseball is boring. And Spring is here!

Put down your Wii controllers and pick up a tennis racket. Turn off American Idol and go take a walk under the stars!

Spring is here… and the NFL draft already happened!