Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wait for it, wait for it...

I went to the batting cages after work today. I have had a week of funkiness, internal and external, and thought it would do me some good to experience some physical exertion. And the whole hitting-the-crap-out-of-something thing was extremely attractive, truth be told.

I went to Gator Park on Baseline, and when I got there I was actually the only customer. It felt kind of creepy to walk into the game room with all of the video games making noises - and nobody in there. I finally got an employee to the counter, and then told him I wanted to use a cage for a half hour. He raised his eyebrow and said, "You gonna hit all them balls?"

I said, "Well, how many are there?" I couldn't help myself.

"Um, I don't know." Then he looked down and busied himself with the credit card machine. I mean, I know I don't completely look like the lithe athletic machine that I once (thought I) was. But I can still handle a half hour of exercise.

So I finally made it out to the batting cage, chose a bat, and hit the button. I love exercise for the mindlessness. I spend all day at work being engaged and challenged mentally...and then, all I need to think about is, wait, swing, hit. Wait, swing, hit. Not that I hit it every time. Especially since I indulged my fantasy of being a switch hitter. That part wasn't pretty, but still fun.

And despite my goal of mindlessness, I realized a few life lessons during this little adventure. (I can't help it. I'm a teacher; it's what I do.)

1. Always control yourself. I went there to hit the crap out of a few softballs. But when I swung like I was hitting the crap out of them, I would overswing or otherwise waste my motion. On the other hand, when I focused my will and energy, I connected solidly.

2. Don't get distracted. In other words, keep your eye on the ball. In other words, when the big muscly guy in the cage next to you starts grunting and swinging faster than any person you've seen in your life, you should still watch the balls coming your way or you may get hit in the shin by a wayward pitch. This kinda stings.

3. Wait for a good pitch. Swinging at bad pitches almost always produces bad results. Even if you are in a swinging mood, you will only get more frustrated at yourself when you get crappy hits.

Now...to apply this in daily life...only slightly more challenging than being a switch hitter.

Peace and grace to you.

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