So it turns out I may be suited to this umpiring thing. Of course, I’m a beginner and have a million things to learn (TWO MILLION), but I get umpiring and I’m really enjoying it even though I am soooo fucking tired.
Here’s why I think I like it:
1. I don’t have a lot of self-doubt. That doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes. It doesn’t mean I’m not wrong. It means that even when I am wrong it doesn’t cause me to question my worthiness as a person.
2. I am already an assertive(1) person. I don’t have a problem sticking up for myself in real life, and I don’t have a problem expressing my opinion about things. Umpiring is all about being aggressive and making your opinion sound like the right one.
3. I am loud.
4. I am open to constructive feedback. I’ve been a lawyer for a long time and a writer for longer. I don’t fear critique and I don’t resist it. I’m comfortable being corrected, which is something you need to be comfortable with if you’re going to be new at anything.
Whether I continue to do it after school or not is an open question. It will involve another large investment of cash for plate gear and uniforms(2) and I feel like I’ve just started to scratch the surface on things I should know before I start officiating games.(3) But I’ve enjoyed it so far, so maybe I will.
(1) Look! It’s the Understatement of the Year, and it’s only January!
(2) In Illinois, the association requires we wear navy blue and at school we wear black. And, of course, there’s the question of pants. And the tailoring of all these things so that they fit.
(3) It turns out, many of my peers here at school just jumped into it without knowing a whole lot. I hesitate to do that because, as a woman, I would be representing all woman umpires and that means I’ve got to be better than the average newbie guy. What’s the saying?