Where Is My Athletic Prowess?

Posted by Brandon |

Many of you will recall the painful confession that I made last month in which I admitted to striking out twice in slow-pitch softball. Since that day my softball game has come a long way. Unfortunately it has come a long way to make no improvement leading me to nearly have a nervous breakdown last night about the loss of all of my once barely there athletic prowess after perhaps the worst softball game of my life.

I was never an athlete. I never lifted weights, I never ran, I never played on any high school teams, I just never had any interest. But I could at least hold my own on any court you put me on. I played a lot of pickup basketball, I played on numerous softball teams, I played intramural sports in college regularly. I kept myself busy athletically and typically performed at a pretty good level.

Working in baseball and working night jobs for the past five or six years I stopped playing sports. Softball was out because I worked most of the time. I moved around a lot and never found pickup basketball games. I discovered a lot of different kinds of foods that I loved and ate them until I peaked out at around 325 pounds or more. My athletic prowess was gone. I couldn't run, I couldn't shoot a basketball and I couldn't hit a softball.

Skip forward to today, I have lost a good deal of the weight. I, over the past year and a half, have started lifting weights and using the elliptical trainer for cardio for the very first time in my life. I am stronger and in better shape than I probably ever have been including high school and the first couple of years of college. I still have a long way to go to consider myself athletic but I am proud of where I am at in comparison to where I once was.

So why am I playing so damn bad on the softball field? Why haven't I been able to get myself back into the swing of things (no pun intended)? Why am I suddenly the worst player on the field? Am I over the hill at the ripe old age of 28?

I don't have any answers for this. Last night and all of today I was pretty down in the dumps. All I could think about was how bad I played and how I may have lost my athletic prowess forever. If you lose it once, can you ever get it back?

But I stopped my moping around and got right back up on the horse tonight. I went to the batting cages and hit for a half an hour totally breaking down my swing and rebuilding it from the ground up until I was absolutely crushing the ball by the end. I also taught myself some breathing exercises to calm myself down at the plate and I am confident that tomorrow night I can regain my game. This may sound excessive for rec-league softball that is just supposed to be fun, but I don't have fun if I suck that bad. For me to have a good time, I have to get better.

I also played basketball with some people from Death?'s hospital and was pleasantly surprised that I played extremely well. I expected to be run off the court within the first few minutes. I haven't run a full court game in at least two years but we played four games and I could have kept playing. This was a very good barometer for how far I've come.

So from down in the dumps to confident it was quite a roller coaster day. It is possible that my athletic prowess is back and in full force. I have a softball game tomorrow night to test this theory and my new swing out.