Rec softball will test your sanity

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 21, 2002

There are certain times in everyone's lives when you receive a reality check about your age.

It may be when a child tells you that you look like their grandparent. Or when you're standing in line at a fast food restaurant and are asked if you'd like a senior coffee.

However, if you're looking for an immediate impact, my recommendation is to play recreational softball.

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If you're lucky, you might be able to find a few teams out at Todd Park who still have some vacancies on their rosters.

Having not played in a rec softball game for about eight or nine years, I was a bit concerned at first. But I figured I'm still relatively young, so there shouldn't be a problem.

I quickly found out that I could still run at a decent clip. However, the first sign that I was getting older was when the inning was over as I stood hunched over in the dugout with my hands on my knees.

"Nice hit, Dan."

Gee … (huff-huff) … thanks.

"Are you OK?"

Sure … (puff-puff) … I'm in my prime.

"Yeah, you look it."

I eventually caught up with my breath. However, three hours and a doubleheader later, I found out that injuries seem to be a lot more easy to come by these days.

Specifically, I was scraped up. Right heel, left forearm, both wrists and even my chin.

I resolved that the next day, I was going to head to the YMCA not to work out, but to soak in the hot tub.

Of course, some people thought otherwise.

As I was heading into the building to sooth my aches, I ran into Austin attorney Dean Adams.

"Going to work out, Dan?"

I didn't want to admit that I was only going to the Y to sit in the hot tub and steam room, trying to get myself in shape for the next week's torture. So I did the only honorable thing possible at the moment.

I lied.

"Yeah Dean, I'll be in there shortly."

I'm sure Dean quickly realized my scheme. Of course, I could always have told him I went swimming.

The next game isn't until Monday. By then, I'll have hoped to recouped enough to make it through another seven innings.

I won't be hard to recognize. I'll be the one huffing and puffing all the way home.

Dan Fields appears Fridays in the Austin Daily Herald. He can be reached by e-mail at