One would think that at my age I would know all about me. This is so far from the truth. Today was a prime example of pure confusion. I was too busy to be lost and too confused to know that I was lost. I discovered I am not too old to feel like a child. I forgot what that feeling felt like. I wanted a port in a storm. I wanted someone to pull me out of the water and start once again- all over. I remembered today that a person can be an excellent student, doing well on all the tests; but, not have a clue what is truly going on. Being a great student in the classroom- does not mean the material taught in the class is understood or can be demonstrated by the student. Great reteaching moment for me as a teacher. A teacher who now is the student.
All of this was brought about because I decided to become an softball umpire. I wanted to be able to do high school games and ASA (Amateur Softball Association) ball too. I need an income in the summer. I am terrified about being broke. Not another summer with no money! I thought softball was the answer. (Perhaps, I bit off more that I can chew! ) This stuff is hard! I am an excellent student. If I am able to study. I know what to study. I can pass almost any test. So I passed all of my tests. Now the scrimmage!
I was nervous as hell. Could not sleep all week. Honestly, I was worried about so much. I did not have my uniform yet. I could not buy it because my paycheck had not come in yet. No money in the bank. Therefore, my wonderful husband gave me the money to buy the clothes. He bought the plate equipment too. Thought I was ready. I got to the store to buy the uniform. Only I found out I was going to be short forty bucks because I did not know I logos were not included. Had to pay more- of course. Damn it! It was an hour drive. I had no more money. I did a Madea (Tyler Perry’s character ). I wrote a check. Then prayed that it went through. It did. I see bounce in the very near future. Worry about that then. I guess that is why I have overdraft protection. I should have taken this as an omen.
On the day of the scrimmage, I was ready to go. My pants were neatly hemmed. My jewelry was off except my wedding ring and I looked the part. I practiced taking my mask off without losing my hat. Sometimes I was able to do so. I then said my good byes to the family. I felt like I was walking the plank. Why? No idea. No one wanted to go with me. Off I went to the field house another hour away-alone! I was okay with this. Rather I had no choice. At the very least, no one would see me make an ass of myself.
Got to the location early. I did not want to get stuck in traffic. I grabbed my phone to check if I was at the right place. Not good! Doubting myself already before the games begun! Then, finally everyone arrived. Now began my first time behind home plate with real players. I was not nervous. I should have been. Wow! Too much to remember at the same time. I was trying to call the strikes and balls white staying low in the slot. Oh, I had to call all foul balls and fair balls. Of course, I had to get out of the way of the catcher while taking off that damn mask! Naturally, my hat came off. I had forgotten to click the clicker for balls, strikes, outs and innings. Really!
But I settled down. I thought. The next ball I saw coming fast at my face. I ducked out of the way. Reflex! Wrong! That is why I had so much equipment on. Stand your ground! And make sure you yell louder. Shortly thereafter, another Fast-pitch came directly at my face. I stood my ground. I did not move. I got hit right in the face! Someone else called, “Dead ball!” Everyone came running toward me. At first I was confused. I did not comprehend why everybody was running at me. Then it dawned on me. They think that I am hurt. I assured them all I was not hurt at all; nor, did I feel that hit. Then I heard,”Way to stand your ground blue!” Humm.
The inning began to move faster. I was getting help from another female umpire instructor. Yes! She helped tremendously! Was starting to feel at home. Then, I was switched to base umpire. Went into the ladies room to change out of my gear. I was feeling pretty good about myself despite the mistakes. I looked into the mirror. “I am doing this I said out loud!” I already checked the bathroom stalls. Thus, I knew there was no one to hear me give myself a pep talk. Then, I began the long walk out to the field. I was the ump on. And so it began.
The entire ballgame, I felt like a well dressed rat running in a maze. Even though I had read everything there was to read, all of the rulebooks- passed all the tests anything you can think of-I was lost. I had no clue what I was supposed to do or where I should be at what time. Or, even what runner I was supposed to be following. I heard words like parallel, focus, set, and BLUE. “Blue? Blue who? Oh, you mean me?” Players were asking questions. Coaches were asking questions. All I could think of was, “What? On what!” I was confused.
But, I was fine because I felt unable to react or get upset about my lack of reactions. Then, the game was over. I refrained from getting down on my knees and saying, “Yes Lord! Land!” Since I felt I was indeed out to sea. My instructor asked me if I had completed the umpire’s sheet. They wanted to be able to tell me what school I was going to for the scrimmages and games. I looked at him like he had lost his damn mind! Like I am ready for that. I do not think so! I had thinking to do. Can I really do this? Of course this was my first game situation ever.
Wow! Another experience I can chalk up to living. Right now I just want a comfortable rocking chair so I can put my feet up. I want some good food. Instead, I am in the bed getting ready to go to sleep. Every part of this body will be hurting in the morning. Shit!