I’m not a sports fan – never have been. But when it was time to attend our company picnic I began to panic. You see part of this fun-filled afternoon was breaking up into teams to play, you guessed it, SPORTS!
It was always stressful in high school facing the awkward pressure to perform during physical activities in gym class. And while I’m much older and wiser now, I still felt some of that same awkwardness when it was time to divide into teams on the picnic grounds.
But I was a trooper – not complaining (too much). First up was volleyball. I managed to get through it and even had a little fun in the process. But when it came time for softball I was seriously considering spending the duration of the game in the men’s room with a pretend stomach ache.
We were on the field first and so I grabbed a glove from the pile and headed to right field – as close to the baseline as possible. That’s always where I liked to stand in high school – few people ever seem to hit the ball there.
Once in position, I put on a right handed glove and soon started wondering to myself, “How am I supposed to throw the ball if I’ve got a glove on my right hand?” Realizing that the glove belonged on the other hand, I quickly made the switch to my left. But as you probably can tell by this point, a right handed glove does not really work on a left hand. Needless to say I stayed like that until it was our turn at bat. I found the proper glove when we hit the field again.
When it was my turn to hit it was pretty pathetic. After a few lame swings, I finally caught the ball with the tip of the bat – sending it forward about 3 or 4 feet. Still it was enough for me to land on first base safely.
Throughout this entire ordeal, I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t feeling the same kind of pressure I did in high school. Instead I just couldn’t stop laughing at myself. I mean how could I not – it’s a pretty funny story. At least my wife thought so as she laughed hysterically on the couch as I was telling it to her.
Today people are too serious about life. We’re so concerned with being perfect and socially accepted that we don’t know how to sit back and just laugh – even at our own expense. A shame really because much of the time we’re down right hysterical!
Ethel Barrymore once said, “You grow up the day you have your first real laugh – at yourself.”