Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone.
“I’m not sure I can do this,” I thought to myself as I put on my shoes. My husband and I had been discussing the idea of me taking this step for a while now. He’s not interested in participating, but he’s always been supportive. The idea always seemed exciting but now, on the heels of it actually happening I wasn’t sure I could make the leap. Given my age and with my lack of experience I don’t know what I was thinking.
I normally wouldn’t do something like this, but you only live once, right?
On my way the Uptown bar, I almost turned the car around. Who was I to do this? I don’t really know anyone else participating. I wonder what kind of women do this? Could I get over my insecurities? Would my lack of experience show? Would I fit in or feel out of place?
I walked through the doors not knowing what to expect. I looked around, trying to figure out who the people I had only met through social media were. My palms were sweaty as I walk to the bar, “People do this all the time, you can do this?” I reassured myself as I waited for my drink. “I’m meeting some people here,” I told the bartender as he slid my drink across the bar. With a small smirk on his face he motioned to a hightop table located in the middle of the bar where a man and two women sat. Could he tell how nervous I was too? I took a deep breath and a sip of my liquid courage before heading over.
“Hi, I’m Myndee.”
“Hi Myndee, I’m Donna. Have a seat.”
After a few minutes of pleasantries and small talk we got down to business.
“So Myndee, What’s your favorite position?”
“I like to catch!” I told her. I know it’s not the most popular position, but it’s my favorite.
Meeting up with a couple of the players and one of the coaches on our team before our first softball game eased my nerves and upped my excitement. Now that the season is in full swing, I am having a blast. We compete, but we’re supportive. We have a dress-up theme each game, and the team who is the most extra wins a base. Our team, the “Mean Girls” goes all out to win that base.
Putting myself out there to do something I wanted to do gave me a burst of confidence and has brought joy to my otherwise stop-asking-for-snacks-and-leave-your-brother-alone kind of summer. I’ve met some really great people from around the city I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
The Unexpected Benefit
After watching my kids play sports for a couple of years now, they get to watch their mom. Seeing the pride on their faces when I make a good play, hearing them encourage me when I screw up, it has brought a different dynamic to our relationship. Knowing how much I liked to swing a bat motivated me to sign up for Moms Softball, and being out there gives my children a chance to cheer for and support me. They get to see their mom putting herself out there. They see me fall and get back up. We get to practice together and bond over shared experiences. My son showed me support and empathy by reminding me of a time he felt embarrassed when he missed a catch after seeing me go through something similar.
What’s the moral of this story?
It’s never too late to do the things you want to do. Take the class. Join the team. Play the game. Go to the event. Learn the instrument. You might surprise yourself, and you will surely have some unexpected benefits.