I play softball on Monday nights with a group of friends that I didn't know a year ago. Now we email several times a week, eat together, celebrate the birth of children and new relationships. We get together for cookouts and go out to dinner or hang out for guys' nights. Some even have helped me try to find a new job, setting up meetings and introducing me to professional contacts. These guys have become some of my closest friends.

On Tuesday nights I've joined a league with the folks from the restaurant. It's been only a couple games, but I'm so glad I've joined the team. I feel like I've become better acquainted with the folks I work with each evening and have built a common bond - something to talk about and laugh about with people to whom I was otherwise just "the new guy."

This may be a shock to my readers, but I'm not much of an athlete. As I write this blog, I'm sitting with ice packs on my leg because I pulled a muscle in my leg running to third. But with my teams, it doesn't matter. It's about the game and the ribbing and the jokes and the competition. I love playing softball. These games are my favorite nights of the week.