Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Win

I could see it happening in my mind. Two steps to the left, reaching out with my glove, picking the ball out of the air between bounces, taking two more steps as I transfer the ball to my right hand and start the double play with a straight throw to second base.

That might have been the play ten years ago, or even five, but that’s not what happened today. Today was completely different.

It was slow motion, but my feet didn’t move quickly, fighting through the inch or two of sandy dirt that surrounded third base today. The ball was skimming the surface, barely rising two or three inches above the ground. Knowing I wouldn’t get ahead of the ball in time, and with no chance to bend over that far at a run, I dove. Slow motion again, but this time it was more a slow motion, controlled crash to the ground in an attempt to knock the ball down and prevent it from reaching the outfield.

I missed, but the shortstop was there to end the play without any damage.

However I was proud of myself. Over the last few year I’ve learned to respect the limits of my body, and not push myself too far. With shaky legs at times, I’ve avoided sprints and learned to turn and move before running, trying to avoid the lateral pushes off my knee. Last week I did something to wiggle the knee, and it hurt to even walk on Monday. I suspect I’ve done something to one of the ligaments in there, but I’m not sure if I want to pursue any work on it. Some rest, some ice, and care has managed to work over the last 7-8 years.

Even though I didn’t make the play, I did play within my limits, doing the best I could without injuring myself, and that’s all I can do these days. I did make two plays, coming up to get bouncy balls that might have short-hopped me if I hadn’t moved and threw the runners out at first. I did realize I’m planting hard on the right knee when I come to a stop and I need to watch that.

I didn’t hit today, trying to avoid the stepping sideways. My leg was a little sore yesterday and I didn’t want to push it again. The rest of the team played well, getting ahead 2-0, going down 7-2, and then coming back to win 9-7 in 7 or 8 innings. We even had a home run, hit to deep left center, which I think is the first of the year for our team. Good for everyone’s spirits after we’ve played well the last two games, only to lose in the last inning.

I haven’t hit one out this year, and it might not be the year for me. One more game next week, and I’m not sure I’ll hit, have to see how the knee does this week with some lighter running.

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