Every summer my daughter Tory plays club softball. It is an annual 8-week endurance run for me. I’ve just completed week 3. My middle-aged body takes a beating and all I’m doing is driving for hours, packing and unpacking our vehicle, loading and emptying the coolers and food bags and sitting in a folding chair cheering for my daughter and her teammates. And I keep a book. Because I love to keep score and diagram the plays. Can you imagine what kind of condition I’d be in if I was the one actually playing the game?
By the end of the summer season I will have inhaled the equivalent of a softball field full of dirt into my lungs; as the weeks progress I wheeze, sneeze then hack up dirt. By the end of July a cat with a fur ball will sound better than me. Right now, though, I’m at the wheeze stage so I just sound like a teakettle on simmer. And, okay, I admit: I look like I’ve been on a 3-day drinking binge; the whites of my eyes are beet red from all the dirt that blew into them over the last two days. Even my husband Mike, who wouldn’t notice if I had cloven hooves (or would say he loved them anyway), jumped back in horror when he saw my eyeballs last evening.
And did I mention the hot sun? Ten hours outside in the sun yesterday and I look like a snake half-way through shedding season, despite the layers of sunscreen, sweat and dirt that were protecting my middle-aged skin.
But it’s all over for now. I’m home. Yes, I’m sitting here freshly showered with aloe on my arms, moisture drops in my eyes and a glass of pinot grigio within reach. My softball player is flat lining on the sofa watching television.