Tonight we had baseball practice.  Any day I get to play on a baseball field is a good day for me.  Tonight was a little different.
I was standing in the outfield when I noticed I forgot to put my insoles in my cleats.  It’s not much, just a thin layer of padding in between my feet and the spikes.  I didn’t realize how much that actually helped.  It didn’t take long before my feet started to ache.  Risking being looked down upon or upsetting the coaching staff I did what any other 8 year old would have done.  I took my cleats off.  I can’t tell you what a relief that was. The soft grass beneath my feet as I took strides toward the ball was something I haven’t felt in as long as I can remember.
It didn’t take long for everyone to notice my cleats standing in the outfield while I ran shoeless towards the ball.  Not knowing their reaction, not completely caring (my feet really hurt), I was surprised to get the reaction I did.
People smiled, laughed and joked.  I even had a couple of others thinking about it.  I could instantly feel the energy lift as we all ran a little faster or swung a little harder.
It reminded me of playing sports at the park across the street from grandma’s house.  We had no where else to be, nor did we want to.  We ran shirtless and shoeless without a care in the world.  We slid across the grass not thinking about how itchy we would be when we got up, not thinking about upsetting mom about the grass stains.
As I stood in the outfield with only sox on all these memories came flooding in, that is when I realized how fortunate I am to still be playing a kids game at this age. For those few moments, we forgot about the tension, we forgot about the expectations and remembered what it was like to be a kid again.

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