"I yell at my legs because they will not obey me."

November 18, 2012

Notable Stats

Standing Seconds (SS) - The time a pre-walking baby can stand without collapsing or moving in any direction. This is measured in random outbursts of disapproval.

Babbling Sounds of Profanity (BSP) - The amount of curse-word equivalents that she is saying in incomprehensible baby language.

My daughter may not know it, but I understand her. I understand that deep down, she does not accept it that her legs are not cooperating with her. She is 10 months old and her two older siblings are buzzing around her like she is a bear that stole their honey. She wants to keep up, but by proxy, she has decided, she has walked, even though they are doing all of the heavy lifting and she has yet to take a step on her own.

For the most part, she is OK with her brother and sister doing all of the walking. She knows that Mom or Dad will eventually carry her to where she needs to go or she could always fall into her creepy peg-leg crawl that looks like she could star in a horror movie at some point.

But every once in a while, she gets irate. She resorts to "trash walking." The art of yelling about walking, over-compensating for her static state. Mad at her wayward appendages that will not respond as she would like. As a former, generally healthy athlete, I understand the entitlement and drive of being able to demand the power to walk even if mistimed or laced with unawareness that walking is a gift, but to my daughter, she just wants to cut out the inefficiency of it all and teleport like she knows she can when she is in someone's arms or in the shopping cart with the cool steering wheel. But her legs stay planted in the ground.

It takes me back to when I tore a hamstring tendon during a game. I had been healthy my entire major league career to that point. Nearly twelve years of good baseball health, then all of sudden, I heard a pop. Then for the first time in my career, I could not depend on my legs, the tools of my trade. For a player who lived on speed, this was more than a setback.

I yelled at my legs too. Post-surgery, in the shower, during the time the trainers had to "break up the scar tissue." My Mom came to help only to note that I was walking like "an old man." Creeping out of the car, crawling, like my daughter, propping myself up on telephone poles during an outdoor stroll. I needed my hamstring, or at least my leg to be back to full strength so I can steal that base or make that long-running catch in the outfield. Limping around was not an option and it definitely was a career-shortening state of affairs.

Of course my daughter does not have to steal second, but she does believe she has to keep up with her siblings even if she is underestimating the power of her mind. It is the next way she can compete and show them that she can run the show too, but first, her legs have to get in line, take that first step... so that she can start outrunning everyone.

- Doug Glanville


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