Recently, I read a story about a baseball player, a ‘pitcher’ who’s unique because he can pitch effectively with either his right or left hand. A major league team plans to give him a tryout and I hope he makes it because I know how hard that is, throwing both left and right handed.
As an adult, I’m doing some simple things to challenge myself, physically and mentally. I dance, memorize poems, write short essays, or ‘musings’, as my sister calls them. My latest challenge is to throw a ball with my left hand. It’s not simple, I’m right handed. The muscles on the left, as well as the whole body action, just don’t flow as smoothly as on my right. They’re not used to it. they haven’t learned it. They don’t have a ‘memory’ of it, yet.
You could say that I ‘throw like a girl’, a common refrain when I was a kid. “Hey, you throw like a girl!”, was the charge. “Yeah, well so’s your mother!”, came the retort, as I ran. I’m improving, though, as I study my right side motion and try to duplicate it on the left. Yesterday, throwing leftie, I zipped a rock against a tree and gave myself a ‘high-five’. Soon, I’ll be able to pat myself on the back using that hand.
Isn’t it odd how we often ascribe certain characteristics, or abilities, to genders; ‘throw like a girl’, ‘walk like a man’? I think I’ve always known this, but my throwing exercise has confirmed it: doing something correctly is a matter of how hard you practice, not necessarily a factor of gender. Today, I watched a girl’s college team practicing for the upcoming softball season. They were learning to throw to the ‘cutoff’ girl from the outfield. Wow, they were good! And the pitcher, she ‘could throw that speedball by you’.**
Today, I threw like a girl..,and was proud of it!
**Bruce Springsteen, ‘Glory Days’