S<.500trike three, YOU'RE OUT!!! Of tee-ball? Mhmm. The story of my life, ladies and gents. If you could have only been there to experience the agony. I relive the memories even today.

When I barely hit (pun intended) the age of five, my parents thought it would aid in properly developing my mental psyche (or some psychological term like that) if they were to register me in tee-ball with my peers. I remember my coach – a burley fellow of about 5’10” (although a giant to my meager 3’11”). I think his name was Walter. He had curly hair, a deep voice. I was scared. Petrified, actually.

So what’s up? What’s up with the fact that for one, I couldn’t hit a ball, and why does society put so much emphasis on needing to be able to be good at a sport?

I soon realized I was not very good at tee-ball (understatement). I think that was clear to both my parents and me when, every time I tried to hit the ball, I missed. I’ll reel you back in, folks, it’s tee-ball. The ball is ON a tee -it’s not moving – and yours truly did not have the necessary hand-eye coordination needed to hit the darn ball. Not once, not ever. Sad. I do not remember much of those days, but looking back, I feel bad for my parents who had to watch their son swing at a ball that wasn’t even moving and miss it every single time.

Sports, my friends, are not an “end-all be-all.” I used to think so. Whenever someone would ask me, “What sport do you play,” I wanted to answer baseball, soccer, football, basketball and maybe a little tennis on the side, because that’s what every other peer appeared to be doing. Iinstead, I would use my intelligence to avoid the question. “Well, I love sports, but why play them when you can watch them and have just as much fun.” Pathetic, I know, but true.

Today, I feel comfortable enough with responding, “You know something, I don’t play a sport, I like baseball when the Red Sox are in the World Series, and the Patriots are fun to watch – sometimes, but that’s about it.” Instead of participating in sports, I host a weekly television program, traveled to France to spend a year abroad, spend time practicing and peforming magic, check out live tapings of “Will and Grace” in Los Angeles, participate in Drama and Speech clubs and fill my life with friends and family. Who needs to run around bases just to get back to where you started? Perhaps only those who really love it…

Being an athlete, though, does take a great amount of effort and focus, I’ll be the first to admit. I mean, to be a Lewiston Maineac you must have to spend hours practicing, not only how to play hockey but also how to beat each other up on the ice just enough to get the crowd roaring in the stands, screaming louder after each punch, but balancing that with enough kindness so the guy does not pass out. It takes much skill, I’m sure. Being a baseball player for the Red Sox has to be tough – especially for the pitcher. The crowd hangs on every throw. You get the win. You take the loss. What about the rest of the team? Don’t they have any responsibility? A round of applause goes out to the athletes out there – you deserve it!

I used to think being an athlete was the “cool” thing, and for some, it is! So carry on. For all others, its not necassary to lose sleep at night just because you may not play a sport. I already have; it’s not worth it. Just become a magician, or a talk show host, or something.

Finally, my parents are great – they really are. They just didn’t realize that by keeping me on that field I would be scarred for life. Parents, please, if you see your kid clearly cannot hit the ball even as it lies on a tee, take them off the field. That way, ten years later, they won’t be writing an article about it in the local newspaper…

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