About a year ago, I was still fairly new to NYC and jobless and virtually friendless. Networking was my life and before I even moved to the city, I had joined my alumni association’s NY Facebook group. One fortunate day, someone posted a request for girls interested in playing softball… and thus began my life with the Aggressive House Spiders.
I have never played organized (or disorganized, for that matter) sports in my entire life. Though I wanted to join various activities in my elementary days (oh, how I longed to be part of a team), I was denied by the Folks. Perhaps it was the plight of being the youngest of 4 kids (most extracurriculars had been exhausted on the older siblings)… but I didn’t get to do most of the activities kids did… no Girl Scouts or AYSO soccer… but I had a very happy and fulfilling childhood… so no harm done. HOWEVER, my athletic prowess is severely lacking.
So I decided to get out there and join the softball team. What was the harm in trying? Plus, I figured it would be a great networking opportunity… and fun… probably?
I immediately felt at home with the Spiders. They were welcoming, encouraging, and funny as hell. It didn’t matter that I could barely get to 1st base or that I have no business being in the outfield. I still got high fives and helpful tips to improve. And it was nice being a part of a team… I think I’ve mentioned before my penchant for “belonging.”
I learned that I really do like to play softball… I’m still terrible, but I enjoy getting out there and trying. Even taking a fly ball square to the forehead hasn’t kept me off the field. Yeah, that was awesome. I even decided to invest in a pair of cleats… in hopes of building enough traction to get my slow ass to 1st (at least until I can hit the ball better).
But more than a bit of physical activity every week, I’ve gained a strange and wonderful family… whether it’s getting advice on guys from Grant and Scott, or getting job leads from Danilo, or political lectures from Patrick, or super awesome true-definition-of-friend-ness from Chrissy, or just fantastic post-game conversations over MANY pitchers of Bud Light… these people are amazing and I’m so glad I answered Danilo’s Facebook post.
Tonight, I start my 4th season with the Spiders. And though I see many of my teammates outside of the ZogSports realm (and some players have come and gone – we miss you, Trisha and Octavio!), it will be great to come together as a team after a few months off…. and hopefully string a few W’s together. But if we don’t… pitchers and wings and nachos after the game will be enough for me. We may not always win on the field, but we always win at the bar… GO SPIDERS!
Blog song title: “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
Photo credit: Nathalie (my roommate), me, Nathalie again