A while back I was competing in a charity softball tournament for my organization. The coach was asking who wanted to play what position? I boldly proclaimed, “I’ll play shortstop!” Why not? On my high school baseball teams, I played a variety of positions including third base (which is a challenging throw across the baseball diamond mind you). After high school, I played for a couple of years in some local and college competitive/intramural softball leagues in whatever position they needed me.
Back to the tournament. Our team played defense first, so we started throwing the ball around the infield to warm up. My turn. I snatched up the grounder from the first baseman like my glove had glue in it. Time for the perfect throw to first base. Oops, must have slipped or not had a strong grip on the ball. My throw took two bounces to reach first base and was incredibly off target. The second chance came around. Again, perfect backhand scoop with my glove – let’s fire a bullet to first base this time! Oh no! This time it took three hops and the first baseman had to go leave the bag to go retrieve the ball. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks – I’m not the same player I was in high school and college! I didn’t have the throwing strength to go from shortstop to first base! What an embarrassment 😦
Hopefully, I’m not alone in this thinking – why do we go back to high school or college as default or baseline of where we should be now with our abilities, looks, and energy levels?
C’mon, hasn’t the thought crossed your mind with one of these comments?
In high school/ college . . . .
I was able to eat _______ and not gain a pound, actually, I lost weight!
I was able to work two jobs and had the energy to hang out afterward.
I was able to bench press _______ pounds and run a marathon with minimal prep.
I was able to wear a size _________.
I was able to throw a softball from shortstop to first base!!!
We know the truth – We were younger, fitter, had a faster metabolism, had more recreational time, and had much more disposable income. It’s silly, but I guess those are the only memories my brain can go back to sometimes.
It makes me think about a t-shirt I saw a guy wearing that said: “Comparison is the Thief of Joy.” Whether it be social media or water cooler chats, my challenge persists not to compare or be envious of what someone else has or is doing. A whole new layer is added when we start comparing ourselves with our former selves. Good night – that was over 30 years ago for me!!! So my mind needs to shift to the “today me”:
Five push-ups are better than no push-ups.
Thank God I have a job that I enjoy and can go to. Big deal if I don’t have energy afterward.
A twenty-minute walk with my dog isn’t a marathon, but it’s something.
I can still eat the foods I ate in high school, but need to exhibit some self-control (three slices of pizza instead of a large by myself).
Three pounds lost are better than three pounds gained.
Now when I get together with people we talk about our latest aches and pains instead of athletic and social accomplishments. 🙂
Final anecdote. Last week we had three straight days of heavy rain. During one of those days – a torrential downpour hit right as I was getting ready to leave for the evening. The forecast app said the storm wouldn’t be letting up for about an hour. My vehicle was parked about 100 yards away. I couldn’t wait for an hour. I sprinted toward my car like Tom Cruise in a scene from Mission Impossible! Made it! Drenched to the core – I also noticed I was breathing like I had just completed The Boston Marathon in record time. No lie, my first thought was: Why am I breathing so hard? Back in high school, I used to be able to . . . STOP!!! 🙂
Do you also struggle with this? If not too embarrassing, please share your thoughts in the comments!