Yesterday a child touched my right leg in the bleachers at a Houston Astros baseball game. I’ll get to how in a moment.
I have fond memories of baseball and softball growing up as a child. As I have mentioned in other blog posts, part of the inspiration behind the fitness online support community I created was the fact that my father pitched for his company softball team. He didn’t run due to his LE leg, but he pitched.
I love the sights, smells, and the cheering. Fresh cut grass, a leather baseball glove, and the red clay dirt. The candy and snacks. Bubblegum and peanuts. When my father played, I used to play in the dirt. I guess he could see that I was restless, so one day he asked me if I wanted to learn how to pitch too. Looking back at that moment, I’m so glad he didn’t draw gender lines.
He took me to a sporting goods store, and we picked out a glove. I had to oil it and take care of it. We spent hours and hours trying to get me to learn. Days turned into weeks.
Throw. Swoosh. Thwack.
Throw. Swoosh. Thwack.
I couldn’t get the hang of pitching, but it did inspire me to sign up and play girls softball for 3 years. Mom was all for it. She was even more of a sports fanatic than my Dad. We had so much fun at the games and tournaments. Like I said, I wasn’t very good but it was fun. I made friends I have to this day.
Later in high school as part of drill team, I would attend all of the high school baseball games for my school in town. I still love cheering and so does my family. I love doing The Wave. I love singing The National Anthem, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and Deep In The Heart of Texas just to name a few.
Back to this blog post, I had a manual lymphatic drainage appointment yesterday with my CLT. Going to a Major League Baseball game straight after was probably not a good idea. If you have lymphedema, then there’s a great chance that a session will send your bladder into overdrive. It’s one way your body releases toxins. This will sometimes require multiple trips to the restroom.
Last night I completed several treks to the restroom going down and up the stadium bleachers. Talk about a workout. I was sweating! My husband even asked me if I was okay. I said, “What can I do? It’s a a great side effect. It means I’m reducing but just incredibly bad timing.” Ironically, the more I walked and moved, the more I had to go.
Towards the end of the game and nth trip down the bleachers, a little girl who was at the edge of a row with her parents, reached out and very tenderly touched my leg. I was sort of going slow by this point. I was slightly startled, but her face was lit up in happiness. She smiled widely and said “Pretty!” Then I realized she was pointing at my BLUE compression.
Her Mom started to discipline her, but I interceded. I said, “No no, please don’t be mad. I have a medical condition called lymphedema that requires me to wear these tights. I figure if I have to wear them why not match the Astros?” She smiled. I said, “Maybe she’s giving me a blessing.” By then the little girl was shy, so I asked her to give me a high-five and say “Go Astros!” She immediately lit up again and gave me a high-five in return.
All of this just took seconds of course. As I thought about it today, I realized that child’s touch was a gift. A reminder to me that we must never lose our sense of childlike wonder or acceptance. It’s okay to say “Pretty” at something that might not seem like it would be in an adult context or frame of mind. Adults sometimes ruin it.
Stay childlike but not childish. 💙