Last week, I talked about how for the first time in months, I took to my apartment complex’s basketball hoop and partook in my first physical activity in months. Well, that’s not really true.
For you see, there is another sport I like to play whenever I have the time and necessary resources: whiffle ball.
What? You don’t think that counts as athletic activity? I’ve got a good, long history of whiffle-related injuries and long, hot afternoons in the backyard that beg to differ. OK, I’ll admit, it’s notthe most physically invigorating activity out there — but then again, neither is baseball. And I take this game seriously, even if no one else I play with does.
Chances are, the 20-somethings out there who are in or who recently left college have a game or two of whiffle ball under their belts. It’s a great way to pass an hour or so, right up there with Frisbee, guitar jams and throwing stuff at other stuff. Anyone can play, from your 4-year-old niece to your 64-year-old grandpa (though the little kid probably stands a better shot). All you really need is a big open field and four random things you don’t mind getting stepped on.
Whiffle ball and nature walks have pretty much been the main reasons for my stepping outside recently. My YDR buddy Caryn and I started taking batting practice a few months ago, just as a good excuse to run around chasing things. We go out during our dinner break sometimes into the fields behind the building and take some hacks for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s a quick, easy way to get out from behind our desks and get a little movement in.
All that is just for fun, but of course, whiffle ball can get competitive, as do all things silly. During a weeklong editing workshop at the University of Nebraska, the group decided to start playing during our lunch and dinner breaks. We ended up staging an epic seven-game Whiffle World Series across the campus (a series, I’m pleased to say, was won by my Team Jamie Moyer). We took the field on the campus commons, in the football team’s former indoor practice field, even at midfield of the 81,000-seat football stadium itself. And I hit a home run there. Yeah, it was pretty awesome.
It’s goofy stuff like that that really sticks with me as I get deeper into my 20-somethings. I remember back to the days of playing with my best friend in the backyard, pretending we were in the major leagues and belting homers in Veterans Stadium. If I can still enjoy something from that long ago just as much, well, I hope to keep breaking out that weird yellow bat as long as I can.