healthy shoulder, injured confidence, and Saints tryout

This past Monday, I descended to my pitching lair, stretched, and threw… and threw harder… and threw harder. My shoulder felt fine. Even a couple days after throwing, my shoulder felt like every other part of me: 32 years old, a little soft, but no pain.

I certainly should have been excited… but I wasn’t. Honestly, I was a little disappointed. In fact, I had begun to see this mild shoulder injury as a perfectly respectable way to get out of my foolish pitching predicament.

So the last few days, I’ve been ruminating over my situation. Do I just submit to reality and throw in the towel? Or should I just keep working out for the next few months, and go to the tryouts just to say that I did?

On the one hand, the following things are true:

1) I’m a working man, husband, father of two, my wife is 38 weeks pregnant–my priorities are with my work and family, so this is simply a hobby.
2) Some of my other involvements–church, reading, friendships–are more important to me than this baseball thing, and so I don’t end up dedicating as much time to it as I could, which means that
3) I’m really not in very good shape–and haven’t been working out much the last few weeks, which means that
4) I haven’t practiced enough over the last six months, and haven’t made adequate progress, making me realize that
5) I’m 32, and haven’t played competitive baseball in eleven years, and am now quite certainly “ineffectively wild”

On the other hand,

1) I’ve got a healthy shoulder and have built back a base of arm strength over the last six months
2) There will be no “rookie at 33”, so I might as well keep working
3) It would be an interesting experience to attend these tryouts, and they’re free.
4) When in shape, I can still hit the low 80s, so if I really push myself and work on mechanics I may see some progress over the next three months–so I at least won’t look foolish.
5) It has been nice to get back in shape and throw again.

Coincidentally, the St. Paul Saints recently set the date for their open tryout on Thursday, April 29. This is the first tryout that I have always intended to go to, and it is exactly six and a half weeks away. And yes, I am going to go.

Also within the next six and a half weeks I will be becoming the father of my third child, traveling to Birmingham with my family to visit my in-laws, and constantly battling my body’s desire to remain stationary. But throwing and working out will need to start in earnest if I’m going to be prepared for this April 29th tryout. We’ll see how it goes.

If anyone has any suggestions for helping me stay on track, I’m all ears.

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