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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 36. ‘Love at first sight? Oh hell no!’

I always fancied myself in the catcher’s position on a baseball team. Crouching into position behind the plate, I began the obligatory fidget with leg pads, mask, and chest plate. That magical red dust moving in rhythm with the summer breeze made me glad to be alive and here. Abruptly stirred from my meditative moment, a panic-stricken roar of “look out!” came bellowing across the field. Quickly turning my attention to the pitcher’s mound, I was astonished to see a projectile headed my way. I could hear the wind buffeting around the ball as its sheer velocity cut a path through the air. Stunned and off guard, I was far too slow to raise my catcher’s mitt. The ball missed my glove, knee and chest guard and caught me fair square in the nether regions. The oxygen from my lungs expelled at an alarming rate as I met the deck with unkind ferocity. Crumpled on the ground, I could hear other players rushing to my side. “Bloody hell, he’s killed her.” He was the junior coach. The instructor to our Women’s beginner baseball team. Blinking away pain tears, and spitting out the previously cherished dust from my mouth, I rolled on to my back under the gaze of anxious faces. The senior coach and father of the ‘pitcher of death’ had quickly come to my aid, gently removing my mask and tapping my face, “hey kid, are you okay kid?” I held his intense stare for a moment, before dribbling out with the dust, “sure.” He half smiled, then grimaced as he angrily spoke, “for crying out loud, Chris!” Yep! He’s that Chris. The future Mr. Paige 🙂 . The circle of faces that had surrounded me, parted to reveal the pitcher’s mound. This unrepentant, smug git looked at me without regret as he remarked, “keep your glove up next time.” Despite the crippling pain, I reached forward to where the batter had dropped her fine piece of aluminum. Wrapping my fingers around the neck, I wielded my Excalibur with intent anyone could see. I won’t repeat the expletives I hurled at my tormentor, but it would be reasonable to assume that my demure demeanor was being hastily revised by all present. To this day I haven’t seen Chris run as fast, dodging every wild swing I made. Severely gimped by injury and two of my teammates desperately trying to hold me back, he managed to escape my wrath, much to my vexation. It was a long cold thaw between there and the ‘first date’. Despite my barrage of, never going to happen, long walk short pier, play with traffic, I’ll take the man with no pulse first, etc etc… here we are 🙂 . Reading this over my shoulder, a cringing, “ohhhhhh that’s harsh,” escapes his lips. Without even turning to look at him we replied in unison, “but fair.” These days if you find yourself side of stage with us before a show, you’ll hear him send me off with my very own personal idiom, I have to say I kinda like it too. ‘Keep your glove up.’

Thanks for listening
Until tomorrow,
Stevie. x