There’s just something about a baseball diamond, a football field, a basketball court – and all other sports fields, courts, pools, etc as far as I am concerned. There is something about stepping onto the field and feeling rejuvenated. Feeling like that 10 year old kid who could catch fly balls off his Dad’s bat for hours on end. I don’t know what it is. The grass, the dirt, the desire to run, and sweat, and win.
I have played sports all of my life and I don’t know if I will ever quit. Granted, I’ve been reduced to intramural football and pickup basketball at this point in my life, but I can truly say that I rarely leave a field or court feeling bad about life. Ok ok, I might feel bad about the loss we just suffered or that one shot I air-balled. But that goes away – especially when we’re talking pickup and intramurals. But about life? Yeah, leaving a sports field just produces that feeling of… hmm, I don’t think I even know the word for it. We’ll call it a momentary euphoria – magic. A moment that allows us to forget about tomorrow’s test, or the to-do list sitting on the desk at home, or the dog that needs to go outside.
There are a couple things that I think produce that magic. 1) Those of us who play sports grew up on fields or in pools or on courts. 2) We, or at least I, learned innumerable life lessons while playing sports, and we didn’t even realize it at the time. 3) We are forever tied to that one all-star moment from our past. That one amazing play that we made or that one championship that we won – even if it was as a six-year-old tee-baller. That moment that is forever imprinted on our minds and in our hearts. The moment when we watched that ball go over the fence, or the umpire call strike three on the kid that was hoping to win the game for the other guys.
You think back and you say to yourself: I hit that ball. I threw that pitch. I made that play.
And for just one magic minute – nothing else in the world exists. Its just you and that sports field where you grew up – where you learned about life – where you cried – where you celebrated with your friends.
I think sports fields are magic. I’ve had this post title stored away for a while now. But tonight, after getting beat up while playing (and losing) a flag football game, I couldn’t help but think back about all of the things that sports fields have done for me over the years. So, yes, I’m an athletic has-been, a pick-up player, a washed up 5th-year intramurals junkie. But that doesn’t change the fact that sports have always been, and I hope they always will be, a true joy in my life.