Dealing with sport lust addiction

Keithy:

Sorry Ryan,  I only read bits and pieces of your manifesto…but what stumps me more than anything is that you walked away from the game quite a while ago…it seems to me that its still got quite a hold of you. Does this mean you might put on the cleats and that deep brown glove you had????….wishful thinking on my part…haha enjoy the playoffs

 

Lyon Keating:

Yes, the game absolutely still has a hold on me but in a funny way.  I’ll always love it more than any other sport just simply because I know it and like the chillness of it and played it intensely for 15 years or so.  Every time I see Dustin Pedroa I can’t help but think that maybe it could have been me (I think I told you in the past that I used to compete with him in baseball tournament tryouts for colleges, traveling teams, etc.  At the same set of tryouts over like a year period he earned a scholarship to Arizona state, I to UCSB, he earned a spot on the elite traveling teams, while I earned a spot on other ones, he was a phenomenally gifted player hitting home runs and making diving catches, while I was just trying to keep up hitting singles, stealing bases, and turning double plays.

I guess when it really came down to it, something clicked in me during the summer after our senior year.  I got bored with baseball and it got a whole lot more intense, the players I was around got a whole lot more dumb and cutthroat and I got hurt a lot.  The baseball played in high school was very pure to me.  It made me feel like it was still a game and you could have a life outside it and it wasn’t competitive life and death but fun.  The company that surrounded me upon going to college went from being around guys like you and Todd, and Faria and Hoobler to more or less military men with a grunt mindset.  Just wasn’t my cup of tea.  I didn’t want to end up like these guys or be around them.  Plus, a lot of my game was running and speed and pushing.  It got to be too intense on my body and I ended up hurt a lot of the time with pulled hamstrings, quads, ankle sprains, etc.  I hated waking up in pain all the time.

And in the end, I just thought that there was something better for me to do than spend my life hitting a baseball and fielding a ball.  Like I was meant for something else.  I wanted to be smart and affect the world in what I thought were more meaningful ways than being an entertainer/athlete.  Plus I just simply had had enough of baseball and needed a break to do other things.  I wanted to play other sports and I went basically four years without picking up a glove and in the last ten years have expanded my athletic horizon and learned and dominated at (yes, sorry I’m tooting my own horn here) tennis, racquetball, volleyball, soccer, surfing, and now on the east coast I’m actually singing up for a ice hockey adult team today!  It’s super fun.  New sport!

After the four years of not picking up the glove after my failed college attempt I did play about 3 years of fastpitch softball which was amazing and returned my love for being on the field and hitting and all that jazz.  I love that little sport and I’d love to play again in a baseball league but it’s hard to find good ones that only play once a week.  I’d love to do some tournament style thing that it seems like Hoobler is doing every now and then, but ultimately, I don’t want to play any one sport more than once a week now and I like to have my weekends to travel or do non-scheduled activities and whatever pops up whether it be sports or hanging with the gf or relaxing with friends or whatever.

 

Keithy:

I recently drove back from San Diego with friend while in a moving van.  We were helping my sister move her stuff back here.  On the trip, I got to conversing about sports and in particular our experience with them as well as our departure.  It’s kind of a catch-22.  We grow up playing these sports that we essentially excell at.  The mere fact of being good at them you end up sticking with them for quite awhile and in my opinion perhaps too long…

My ‘official’ departure was at SRJC.  I just didn’t want it anymore.  I dreaded practice as well as feared the coach (although I highly respect the man).  I felt I was wearing myself down to the bone and worst of all I was cheating in some of my classes.  This last statement I couldn’t live with.  It was nice though being around all good players. I did become a better ball player than in any program I had ever been in.  When I did walk away from that competitive level I said to myself that I’d still play in men’s leagues but just on the weekends.  I did so from 18yrs old to 26yrs.  I tore it up the first few years but just like city league it was frustrating when so many of the players lacked skills.  I never cheered when the opposing team made an error.  During that whole time I still needed some sort of physical competitive activity in which time I took up bodybuilding. I dictated how much effort I would put in and it fits in to normal life very easily.

My friend on the otherhand I think is a little perplexed and disappointed.  So many guys we played with are like this.  It’s like they don’t have a clue what to do with themselves after the game.  He played in college and he told me how it went down.  It wasn’t a pleasant story nor is any of ours but there comes a point where we all have to stop playing eventually.

There is one thing that I do miss from baseball.  I did however get it in one of the bodybuilding competitions and that is the adrenaline rush before my first at bat of a game.  Even to this day if I go to bat in a softball game it still gets stimulated.  I love it and think of baseball when it happens….it is my drug of choice!  haha please tell me you got it too.

 

Lyon Keating:

Ya know, it’s funny, what you described regarding your friend and his situation is exactly how I’ve felt most people were when they had to stop playing too.  People do these things that they were good at in childhood because they were fun and they were good at them but then somewhere along the way it turns into the only thing that defines them.  When their career finishes up it’s like they have some form of post traumatic stress disorder and can’t cope with their lives.  They then just sort of mope around for years, decades even and many of them never really seem to recover and look at high school and college time as like their prime, which is very sad because your whole life is ahead of you.  I remember when I had quit baseball it was like people freaked the fuck out around me and I was like, whoa, and WHOSE life are we talking about here?!?!?!  It was almost hard not to fall into a depressing trap with everyone else around you majorly questioning the decision you made.

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