denial and dreams

I fell down yesterday, big time. Somehow I thought I could actually catch up with a fly ball over my head…on lumpy ground…that was very very soft following a few days of rain.

I saw that the ball was over my head almost right after Marcel hit it. I took the right first step, but was backpedaling before I knew it. At the last moment, glove over and behind my head, I did what you’re not supposed to do, jumped.

The ball smacked the glove, I closed the pocket around it but was already in full stumble, falling on my back, my speed (well.. it WAS technically speed… just not fast) took me over on my neck, shoulder and splashed down on my knee. In true ESPN form I lifted the glove up to show the 7? year old I was playing with that I had caught the ball.

It didn’t take long for my body to tell me this was a silly thing to do and this morning as I lay on the wood floor warmed by the sun, picking at my all-vitamin cereal while a pan of fresh brownies sits on the stove, my body is still asking me “what did you think you were doing catching that ball?”

But that moment when the ball hit the glove was a pure instant. I didn’t think, I just acted. Didn’t evaluate the ground, just jumped. As I ache this morning I was wondering…was I just in denial about my age when I put the glove on?

Maybe when faced with the opportunity for something good its hard to make an informed choice. (thinking about brownies for breakfast instead of wheat flakes) Somewhere deep inside though, we’re often fighting with the inner voices that say “c’mon, have some fun” and “hey! act your age”

So if you can’t always get what you want, how do you know that what you’re getting is what you need? I’m sure its all about balance, and if mine was better maybe I wouldn’t have rolled and splatted in the field after the catch. Instinctively, we take risks. Sometimes we make the catch, sometimes we splat…and pay for it later.

But thinking back to the moment the ball hit the glove, there was a feeling of satisfaction I don’t think I could have had watching others leap and fall.

This is all pretty convoluted. I’m thinking of the satisfaction my Dad had in making fires in his fireplace, even if it meant going up on the roof to point the brick chimney. The fire in the fireplace took him back somewhere, gave him satisfaction that he could still split wood, still knew how to build up the tinder to have a “one match” fire, satisfaction in the sound, the smell, the heat, all things that are pure moments, real things done at a risk, but so much more rewarding than watching a fire on tv.

So we can proceed through life safely, not taking risks, denying ourselves brownies for breakfast, or we can deny our limitations and jump for the ball. Might as well jump, even though I know there will be some aches and pains as a result.

unless…

On the way home I remember making what i thought was a similarly amazing catch during American Legion baseball tryouts. The other players on the field congratulated me on the way into the dugout, I felt pretty good at that moment. Then a coach sat down next to me and said “son, you have slow feet,” pretty much saying that if I was faster, I wouldn’t have to make spectacular falling catches.

So, if I was better prepared, had worked to be ready to jump, maybe I wouldn’t have splatted so hard.

All this of course is a way to talk about love and the risks we take with it. If we do the work (on ourselves…no fair “fixing” the other person) maybe we’ll have faster feet, be able to chase down the ball over our head AND avoid rolling and splatting in the mud.

I can see another question though, sometimes a second baseman needs to look carefully at the fly ball and tell the outfielder “its yours.” There’s another blog there but it’ll be even more confusing than this one.

I’ll finish my healthy cereal now, and just peek at the brownies.

Take Care, do the work to be prepared for the fly, avoid the splat.
Be good to each other.

One Response to “denial and dreams”

  1. eoabr3zh says:

    I think I inherited the slow feet but not the catching-instinct…

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