A dodgeball hit me square in the face, and I was down.
People started crowding around me helping me up, asking if I was okay. I really couldn’t tell. The whole left side of my face was burning, and I couldn’t open my eyes. I kept both my hands over my left eye, protecting it. I was afraid my contacts might have popped out from the impact! I was afraid I had lost a whole eyeball for that matter!
The jerk who hit me was shaking my shoulders saying, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”
You SHOULD be sorry, you turd!
I regained my composure and blinked a few times. Tears were flowing at will, but aside from the burning sensation on my left eyeball, I was fine.
I actually hadn’t played dodgeball in my life. Unlike most of my American friends, we didn’t do dodgeball for PE back in my school in the Philippines. We did volleyball or kickball or… eggrolls on the floor (for realz).
A friend had told me that Dodgeball was quickly becoming LA’s It sport and so I decided to check it out! It was pretty easy to get into it. They had open gyms for anyone who wanted to play on Wednesdays and Sundays in a couple areas near my apartment. All one had to to was show up – and so I did! I’ve seen the movie, Dodgeball, so I had a fair idea on what the basic rules were.
Don’t get hit.
What I didn’t realize was that there was more to it than that. Well, to be honest, I just picked it up as I played. What I gathered from keen observation was, first, don’t get hit. Second, when someone from the opposing team throws a ball at you, you either avoid it, or catch it! If you catch a ball, the person who threw it at you is out of the game! Which means, make sure you throw your balls at an angle that makes it difficult for the opposition to catch ---- for instance, a downward toss at 125 miles per hour – if you can manage it…
If the ball bounces, and then hits you – it doesn’t count. If you step on the line (in the middle of the court) your throw doesn’t count if it hits someone.
I guess the whole point of dodgeball is to wipe out your opposition completely. It seemed easy enough, but I started out a little shaky and scared at first. I was too afraid of getting hit, I rarely threw any balls! I was just at the back, protecting myself using the bigger players from my team as human shields.
Then I remembered the saying – “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game…” It was deep. I think it was from a Hillary Duff movie.
But it made sense! I was too scared of getting hit, I never got the opportunity to really play!
Getting hit was part of the game! It’s like falling off a bike when you’re first starting to learn how to ride it! It’s part of the whole process.
So I took a deep breath and shook off my nerves. I just went for it! And once I’d lightened up, it got easier, and I had more fun!
Then I got better at it, and I had even more fun!
Until the KABOOM incident, that is.
Yep, the guy who threw a head shot at me was dead.
“Don’t worry, we’ll get him for ya…” said one of my teammates.
“Yeah babe, we’ll get him back,” said another.
Or, if you hit someone, they go, “NICE!” accompanied by a clap or a pat on the back!
Or if you almost hit someone, they go, “Ooh! That was close, that was close…”
And when someone head shots you in the face and makes you tear up from the pain, they go, “Don’t worry, we’ll get him for ya…”
It was nice!
Although in my head, I was thinking, “Nobody touches him. He’s mine…”
I admired the effort of my teammates for trying to bring my assailant down, but he was just too good. And what’s worse was he still continued throwing head shots at my teammates! He was so annoying!!
I had to play this really cool. I let him concentrate on targeting the better players on my team, and I laid low on the right side of the court. I pretended to throw balls at his other teammates, but really, I was trying to get a good angle at him. All I needed was for him to be distracted.
He was holding two balls, using them as shields. He was good. But wasn’t good enough for my wrath.
My teammates started to line up, getting ready to throw their balls at the dude all at the same time. I knew what I had to do. I just had to do it at the exact right time.
I heard my teammates count it off…
“Everyone… in 3… 2…”
And in unison, they threw their balls at the enemy! He dodged one, two, three… and on the fourth one, he kneeled down to deflect the ball to keep it from hitting his leg.
That was my moment.
As he was deflecting the fourth ball, I took my aim and threw my ball as hard as I could.
It hit him on his left shoulder. He was out!
“YEAHHHH!” my teammates yelled in unison, and there were high fives all around!
I got him! I have eliminated the enemy! I yelled out – “I loooove this gam…”
I got hit on the leg. By a shy looking petite girl with glasses. I was out.
Oh well! You win some, you lose some! :)
I’m thinking about joining one of their leagues once this 30by30 project thing is over. I’ve gone to at least 8 open gyms since and it’s a riot every time!
PLUS, every Wednesday night after the game, they all get together at this bar called Happy Endings for a drink, and you get to meet not only the people from the dodgeball leagues, but from other sports leagues as well - like kickball and soccer and volleyball! Oh! And you get to play beer pong with everyone too!