The Reluctant Athlete


If gloves could talk…this one wouldn’t have much to say.

“You want me to play softball in a prison?” I asked incredulously.

“I know,” said Brian in a calm tone that resonated with sympathy and reassurance.  We both knew that my objection had little to do with the unusual venue, and it was painfully obvious that he was desperate for players.  So desperate, in fact, that he was approaching one of the last people you would want to ask if you wanted to forge a decent softball team.  My brother tried to bolster his sincerity with a smile, but he could barely suppress a laugh as he tried to entice me by adding, “It’ll be fun!”

“Yeah, fun,” I grumbled.  Brian belonged to a service organization that not only did the occasional good thing for the community but also participated in a recreational softball league.  Scheduling a game against the inmates of our local minimum-security prison was a way to join the two vocations.  Unfortunately, only a handful of members had signed up for the opportunity.  Joining Brian in this endeavor would be the noble thing to do, but it would require a complete consumption of my pride.  It was akin to taking a willing dive into a pool of embarrassment.  “Let me think about it.” Read More

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