Yesterday we knocked off early from work to spend some team building time hurling rubber balls at each other at high speeds. Or as it is more commonly known, dodgeball. Over 20 of us squared off on a basketball court with about 10 balls. Being a believer of leading by example, I was promptly hit by a ball in the first game, thus making me the first person eliminated. Adding injury to insult, I jammed my thumb when I tried to catch the ball. Thankfully it was on my left hand, so I was able to spend another hour being pummeled and occasionally pummeling someone else (don't worry mom, I didn't hurt anyone). It was a lot of fun and quite the workout.
After the adrenaline started to wear off, I realized my thumb was swelling up and really frickin' hurt. Another guy and I went to the chow hall for dinner. I put together a salad and sat down to eat it. Only one problem: the salad dressing is served in those individual-serving foil packets. Try opening one without using your left thumb. Not so easy, is it? After a couple of minutes of wrestling with it (because I'm too stubborn to ask my buddy for help), I finally got it open just enough to squeeze the dressing out. The time since then has been a lesson in evolution. (Sidebar: I'm a Christian but I believe in evolution. I believe it is God's hand at work.) I now truly appreciate how important opposable thumbs are. I've struggled with getting dressed, reading a book, being a Eucharistic minister (think about wiping the chalice with the purificator), and numerous other mundane tasks. I think working out tomorrow morning is out of the question. At least until my thumb turns back to a normal human color and has most of its former functionality. Despite the thumb, I had a good time at dodgeball and would do it again (once I forget how the rest of my body aches too).
I'll close this entry asking you to remember the Duranso family. Al Duranso--husband, father, and grandfather--passed away recently. The Duransos lived down our street when I was growing up and are related to us on my mom's side of the family. Having lost my dad, I have an idea of what they are experiencing. I also know that I was comforted by the love and support we received from our family and friends. So I ask that you keep the Duransos in your prayers during this difficult time for them.