Saturday, 10 August 2013

Golf and Old Farts' Baseball

Today has been another fantastic day.  It started off with lots of rain all morning.  The weather forecast was calling for the clouds to clear and the sun to arrive in the afternoon.  Good thing for me, my husband and my son.  We were in a charity golf tournament this afternoon.  It was a best ball format.  The last time I played golf was at this time last year in the same tournament which raises money for a local group that supports women with breast cancer.

We arrived at the golf course just before 12 noon and we received our golf carts, "goody" bags and our lunch.  We sat on the deck of the golf club and enjoyed a very tasty chicken Caesar wrap along with a bag of chips, a bag of chocolate chip cookies and a piece of fruit.  My husband and I both received crisp, crunchy, fresh apples.  They were very juicy and tasty.  My son had a plum in his lunch bag.  The afternoon ended up being hot and dry.  My husband and my son were the consistent players that got us up to the green.  I really need to work on my driving off the tee as well as my fairway play.  However, once we were on  the green, I  was able to hold my own and often it was my putts that were used.  At one point on the course, my son pointed out that there were three hawks circling lazily above us.  This golf course was located in a rural area and I'm sure these graceful birds of prey were looking for mice and other small animals to feast on.  We certainly had fun on the course and enjoyed each others' company.  The day included dinner as well.  We ate very tender slices of roast beef, with a roasted potato, horseradish, gravy, mixed beans and a Caesar salad.  There were also baked beans included.  The dinner was topped off with chocolate cake for dessert along with tea or coffee.  As part of the fundraising, there was a live auction, a silent auction, raffles and the old standby 50-50 draw.  As we were listening to the names being called who won the silent auction items, my son whispered that he and my husband were scheduled to play softball at 8:45 p.m.  It was 7:45 p.m.  So we silently and unobtrusively crept out of the venue in order to get home.  The intent was to drop me off at the house.  My husband and son would then go on to play softball.

As we were driving home, my son asked me if I wanted to play on their team.  I guess they were needing a female to fill in.  I haven't played since the summer of 2011.  That summer I remember feeling extremely tired and that it took every ounce of strength to try to swing the bat.  Every step that I took as I tried to run the bases felt like my feet were made of concrete.  I was very slow and every step hurt.  At the time, I put it down to me just getting too old to play ball anymore.  All this went through my mind as I considered trying to play ball one last time as requested.  I also needed to remember that my back has been very sore all week long.  I've been using ibuprofen every day and I finally resorted to going to the chiropractor yesterday afternoon.  Now, my back was feeling pretty good after playing golf this afternoon.  The fact that I was being asked to play softball indicated to me that the team was not going to have enough females and they'd have to take an automatic out.  My husband was very concerned that my back would not handle the game.  I decided to say "Yes, I'll play."  In my mind, I would not swing the bat hard nor would I run really hard.  Yeah, right. (snort).  I have never been able to not play hard.  So off to the house we continued and I found my ball glove, we grabbed the bug spray, the ball bag and off in the van we went.

We warmed up and I was surprised at how well I threw the ball.  I was surprised that I was still able to catch the ball.  I was really surprised at the spring in my step when I went for a short jog.  I seemed to have lots of energy!  This is when I really began to wonder if what I experienced in 2011 was actually the effects of the lymphoma (which I didn't realize I had) rather than the effects of aging.  I was third in the batting order and our team was the home team which meant we batted first.  I surprised myself at hitting a strong single at my first at bat.  I've never been a fast runner and so it was no surprise to be thrown out at second base on the next hit.  But I didn't feel lethargic and old!!  Woo Hoo!!!!  As the game progressed, I was able to jog (with a bounce I might add) out to the left field to play the left rover.  My next at bat, I hit a line drive right at the third baseman for an out.  Oh well.  I wasn't too upset because I had energy!!!  During the rest of the game, I ended up having a hit and then scoring a run.  I had a lot of fun and felt much younger than I did 2 years ago.

As we drove home after the game, I couldn't help smiling.  I've played 18 holes of golf and 7 innings of softball.  I wasn't sore and I wasn't exhausted!  My back doesn't seem to have any pain and feels limber.  It's been a great day and I've had a lot of fun with my husband and son.  I'm happy because I only have 2 weeks left with my son being at home.  He'll be leaving to attend his first year of university in another city.  I haven't been feeling to anxious about that yet.  However, I did enjoy his company and his humour today which made me realize that these moments are going to be more precious to me as they will happen less often.  But I won't dwell on the future.  I'll live in the moments that I have now and enjoy them to the fullest.  It's been a wonderfully fulfilling and satisfying day.

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