Monday, March 26, 2012

hello: the places that scare us

I blame the blog.

I blame the blog for making me go out on limbs, explore foreign territories, swim unknown waters, and speak in all manner of cliches about the risks I am taking.

I happily blame the blog.

Tonight was a tough night for me: a night that tested my boundaries and pushed me into less-comfortable places. And that's good, that's what I should be doing right now.

See, I joined a softball team.

This is something I've been wanting to do for a very long time, but haven't had the kick in the butt I've needed. Cause I'm not very good, not very competitive, and haven't been motivated to find a team to nurture my growth.  Weirdly enough, the push to do it was beyond random. I was visiting my childhood home last month and saw my brother's ex-girlfriend, JoJo, who told me that her "very nice" cousin lives in my current town. She gave me his name and said I should look him up.

And a few weeks later, I saw that he happened to comment on a facebook post of a friend of mine mere moments after I commented. (Insert eyeroll at the world we live in.)

I realized we share some connections and took the serendipitous moment to reach out to him. And after a few friendly messages were passed back and forth he said, "You want to join my softball team?"

Pretty bold move, being he'd never met me, sized me up, or judged my athletic ability.

now if this doesn't allude to a future in athletics, I don't know what does

I said to him: "I really doubt I would be adding much value to your team. Yes, I have previous experience, but I'm not confident it qualifies me for any awards. Although, I am fun, enthusiastic and a good-natured heckler/good cheerleader. Which is something!"

To which he said, "You're on the team!"

So I went tonight, and showed-off my athletic abilities "athletic abilities" to a bunch of strangers.

And quickly realized I am the worst by a long-shot. A pretty crooked, inconsistent throw; a depth-perception issue of monstrous proportions; a frantic run/walk; and a wild-crazy-batting swing. Added value!

On one hand, it's hard being the worst (and knowing it). It brings out insecurities: maybe they regret asking me to join? Maybe I will bring down the team? It's hard to have fun when crippled by anxiety that you are dragging down a group of skilled athletes, especially ones that weren't entirely honest about their skill-level.

On the other hand, being the worst gives us the most room to grow. Learning how to have fun doing things that are challenging, truly enjoying the parts of ourselves that need improvement, is a worthy task. I believe in growing by leaps and bounds, especially in the places that scare us.

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