My Aunt Saralene still asks me from time to time why it is that I continue to play softball, flag football or any other sport that was intended for much younger people than I. And over the years I have tried to explain why it is that I keep playing the games.

I don’t think I have ever been able to give her a satisfactory answer, so once again, I feel compelled to answer the question. Obviously at age 44 (almost 45) I am no longer the athlete I use to be but there are those rare nights or moments where I feel 25 again and able to move with speed and grace to grab a hard shot down the line, quickly get to my feet and throw the guy out at first.

Or make that critical catch to keep a drive alive and speed away from the on coming tackler (OK, Flag Puller), and gain an extra 15 yards. Those nights where I finish a game and know that I played good defensively or maybe go 3 for 4 at the plate still gives me that rush I felt when I was 25. I love the competition – the challenge to put my talents and skills out there to see how I stack up against others still gets my fire going.

After a 2 year lay-off from softball, I have decided to once again dust off the glove, wipe down the cleats and see what I have left in the old gas tank. Well, it’s not on fumes, but it’s well below the half-way mark. We are 3 games into the season and so far my body is holding up pretty well. I have 2 hits in 6 at bats – which is respectable, not great but respectable.

As I was sitting in the dugout the other night the guys were giving each other a hard time about this and that and for whatever reason it hit me – this is why I keep playing the game! The fellowship of being with the guys, having fun, forgetting the trials of life. That time were on the field, even for just an hour, allows us to escape back to when we were 12 and playing for fun.

To be 12 again, with little or no responsibilities, playing a game you’ve loved all your life is something I think all of us wish we could do from time to time. In that hour we can forget about our jobs, the struggling economy and the various tragedies taking place around the world. For that hour we can just be part of the team trying to help each other come out victorious one more time.

Life will be waiting for us as we exit the field but for that one glorious hour we get to be 12 again and play the game……because it’s fun! Yea, that’s it. That’s why I continue to play the games!