Sometimes you get sucked into a situation that you would have just as soon avoided but you took one too many steps in the wrong direction so that retreat no longer became an option. In other words, I did something that I didn't want to do but I found I had no other choice but to act the way I did.
Last weekend, my youngest son invited me to travel north to Utah County and participate in the annual Salem City Snow softball tournament. Despite my several weak attempts at not playing because of this or that, of which my son totally ignored, I found I had no excuse not to go and so I showed up Saturday morning to play softball in eight inches of snow. This was not my first time to play in this annual tournament so I should have been smarter but that is a whole different article.
Actually, it had more to do with my wife and I wanting to give our foreign exchange student more of the Utah experience than my need to avoid the eventual pain that would accompany the physical activity that I was about to participate in.
We had already decided to travel to Salt Lake City and show her the Christmas lights of downtown including those on Temple Square with all the festivities that go on there on any given night and so since I was already over the mountain I had no further excuse at not playing.
So how is it to play in snow you ask, well I will tell you this, the ball stops as soon as it hits the ground which throws all of your instincts off, the ball doesn't travel as far in the air due to the cold temperatures and sometimes throwing a wet ball is an adventure but other than that it was fun.
So how did we do? We won the first game against a team that had made the finals the past four years to give ourselves hope and then we gave away two games due to our lack of hitting and our fielding errors. Unfortunately for us, the game of softball still needs the same skill level in the winter in the snow as it does in the summer on the grass. You still have to make the plays and we didn't when it counted. We lost two games that were winnable and then we were done.
So in the third, and as it turned out our final game, and as I started this story with a tale of getting into a situation that I didn't want to be in. I got sucked into mouthing off to the umpire. I was just fine even with the missed call in a close game but as I walked by in the final inning, the umpire made just a little remark that stopped me from any longer acting responsibly and I responded to which he responded to which I responded to which he asked me if I wanted to watch from the parking lot or something like that. At that point, despite knowing that it would be warmer out there, I simply smiled, said something nice and walked away.
Would that call have made a difference in the game, who knows but it would have kept me from having a moment that I wish I would not have had. But all in all, I had fun, I hit the ball OK and I threw the ball better than I could have hoped. As it turned out, I had a good day with my son, showing my student a new game played in adverse conditions and doing something out of the ordinary. It was a good day.
Moral of the story? Get out of your rut and do something different, have fun and make life an adventure. Life is too short not to enjoy. It is a new year, make it special! Say yes when you really want to say no, get out of your box and see life from a different prospective.
As Les Brown once said, "No one gets out of the game of life alive. You either die in the bleachers or out on the field. So you might as well come out on the field and go for it!" Have a very happy new year!