Summer Obsession

Badgers_Toronto_Arts_League_SoftballI never thought I’d feel this way but… softball is my new obsession.

I come from a very athletic family (both parents excelled at several sports), yet somehow I did not inherit their sporty genes. Still, as I round the bases of life (ok, I promise to refrain from further baseball metaphors though it’s really tempting), I’m determined to try my hand at everything I can.

Living in Toronto (after Vancouver), I’m now blessed with a real summer: sunny days and hot nights, no jacket required. While commuting home by bike in the summer months here in TO, I often rode by softball games in progress. It seemed like the perfect way to spend a summer night: enjoying the weather, getting in shape, and making friends. So in late May, 2013, I sent an email request to join a team in the Toronto Arts League. A few days later I was delighted to receive this reply:

“Julie: Consider yourself drafted by the Badgers!”

That first game, I had very low expectations of my skill level. And I was right. I struck out and even fell when running to 1st base. I persevered and practiced as much as I could (YouTube videos on batting are great). Then on one momentous evening, I got a run!  In the next game, I caught a pop fly in the outfield. I stopped feeling like an impostor.

I never thought playing on a sports team would be for me, but there’s something potent about working together, each playing a role, accepting each other’s errors and strike-outs with support and magnanimity, high five-ing our shared accomplishments, and of course, the after-pub – a guaranteed weekly night out. So thank you Badgers for your commitment, humour and enthusiasm.

And wouldn’t you know…we’re on a four game winning streak! Next week we play the best team in the league and we’ve even got a chance at the playoffs.

Win or lose, I love my team. And, for me, Wednesday is the new Friday.

Julie James, August 1, 2013, Toronto


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