Wednesday, August 15, 2012

An Ugly Exit

I played my first season of slowpitch softball in 1982 and over the last 30 years I put together a nice career that included two league championships and innumerable great memories.  But this season had a different feeling about it almost from the start … a dark feeling.  Even when my team won, even when I played well, I just wasn’t enjoying myself.

Tonight my team lost in the playoffs and I played poorly.  This isn’t how I wanted the season to end, and it certainly isn’t how I wanted my softball career to end.  But I think this is what I will live with, because I’m pretty sure I’m done.  The game that was so good to me for so long turned into little more than a weekly obligation that took me away from what I really wanted to do: ride the bike.  And it introduced what ultimately became an unacceptable risk of injury, sometimes realized.  I’m still feeling the effects of a shoulder injury I sustained three weeks ago, and I’m very lucky that it didn’t compromise my cycling ambitions.

It’s kind of funny: I’m abandoning softball for the sake of cycling but originally I got into cycling because of softball.  Once I reached my 30s I needed to strengthen my legs to keep playing ball.  I was having all sorts of overuse injuries, so in 2003 I bought a mountain bike just to ride around town for a couple of hours per week.  The overuse injuries went away and I enjoyed several more productive seasons.  And I’m still physically capable, but my heart isn’t in it.

So, if this is it, I leave softball with some pretty solid career statistics.  If you read my blog regularly, then you know I love cycling stats.  Well, long before I ever turned a pedal in anger, there was softball:

GAMES    AT-BATS    RUNS    HITS    RBI    2B    3B    HR    BATTING AVG.
343      1,026      309     503     309    118   14    25    .490

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