Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back In The Swing Of Things

Life after cancer is filled with milestones. Some are momentous. Some seem ordinary to everyone but a survivor. Some are so special in a personal and delightful way. (Did I just use the word "delightful"?)

I played softball for my company team, Ogilvy, on Monday. I waited to post about it until 2 days after, which usually is a good "soreness" barometer when you haven't used muscles since the last decade. After a forfeit win and 2 consecutive rain outs, we finally got to take the field. Now I describe this softball league as a rung below a Beer League, since there are no kegs at 2nd base or umpires to yell, er, talk to during the game. But hey, pride is big motivator when you're playing other companies in your professional field. Not much, but it's there for some.

I started to realize before the season began that I hadn't played an organized sport since August 7, 2007. The day of my head & neck cancer diagnosis. Almost 3 years. And so far removed from where I was before cancer––I was a college athlete and had played or coached in organized sports for over 40 years. But this was foreign to me. I felt like a rookie. Not only was I coming back from cancer, I was running away from Father Time. The mind says, "hell yeah, you can stretch that single into a double!" The body says, "think again, butthead. Not while I'm here."

I'm happy to report that two days later I can comb my hair without pain, walk up and down the street on my own power and haven't been swallowing Advil like a kid with Halloween candy. We won, 21-4, had a great time doing it and I'm even thinking of playing next week––I will be wearing cleats, since I have no concept of taking it slow and easy when playing sports––if time allows. I wouldn't say I swung the bat like I used to.

But then again, I wasn't coming back from cancer.