If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

3….. 2….. 1….. DODGEBALL!

Never in my adult life did I EVER imagine I’d be hearing those words shouted at me, while I voluntarily became the target of grown men (and women!) that have the ability to whip large, red rubber balls at a speed that would make Superman on Red Bull jealous. WHAM!! “Whoa. That….. STINGS!!!” There goes my whole one minute of play. I swear the other team is after me just cause I’m a newbie to their world. The DODGEBALL world. Brought to you by “what the hell am I doing here?” and the Edmonton Sport & Social Club (ESSC).

My younger sister, who I love dearly, has been playing dodgeball for a couple years now, and has always asked me to come play, which I would very nicely just kind of shrug off. Dodgeball isn’t something I would have really considered a ‘tough’ sport, seeing as some of the best dodgeballers I’d ever known were 3ft 2 and in the 2nd grade! She finally convinced me to join the team this year, and give it a try. Fast forward to last Wednesday night. Once that infamous countdown was declared, the doubting big sister became a wide eyed bag of panic, completely lost at what was going on around me. I know the opposing team could smell my fear (and complete confusion) and with that, devised one of their master plans, which showcased just how much actual gameplay and strategy can go into these games. All I vaguely heard was “On the left… blue shirt” (My thoughts: “I’M in a blue shirt?! Am I the only one? And… am I on the left?? I believe I’m on THEIR left… OH GOD!!”) then “3…2….1..” (lots of countdowns in this game) WHAM!!! 5 very angry, very red, rubber balls, flying directly at me once again. Aaaaaand….. I’m out. On the sidelines once again.

In my defense, my sport of choice is baseball. A nice little game. Played outdoors. Friendly, smiling teams. One person at a time hitting a small, little white ball. Nice little jogs around some cushy bases. My whole 20+ years of playing has been nothing but “Get in front of the ball” and “Don’t be afraid of the ball”. Now here, I must try to push all that out of my mind, and DODGE?!! Dodge 100 mph rubber balls thrown by big, sweaty, angry looking men with the devil in their eyes?!! My sister sympathetically pointed that out when I asked her what I was doing wrong: “Shauna. You need to dodge it. Hence the name: dodgeball. RUN. AWAY!! DODGE!!!” I must admit that here, in this tiny, smelly gym, I was afraid. Very, very afraid.

All joking aside though, it was a real eye opener, and a complete blast for my first experience (it especially helps to have ‘team bonding’ after the game with a couple cold ones). The Fury of 1000 Balls (the kick ass team who were duped so accepting of me) seem like an awesome group of people, and I am totally stoked for the next game now. We’ll see how that sentence stands once I have completed the full 7 weeks of our season 🙂 Stay tuned!!

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