Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sports: a novel

I'm a pretty athletic person. This is not a brag, it's just true. I grew up playing many things, mostly for fun, and I pretty much enjoyed everything. This is still true except i never play anything nowadays except "bike ride" and "subway ride," and "walking," and it makes me a little sad even though I almost always win. Which is good. But still.

My favorite sports to play:

Basketball, tennis, and football. I keep saying basketball when I answer this question but when was the last time I played basketball? seriously. So maybe i should retire that one and move tennis up to #1. Which was a contender anyway. And I've played actual football (like a somewhat structured game with plays) like twice in my life. I just know that it's fun to play.

Kickball was fun in the elementary days. Oh, and I am a stellar ping pong player. I also recall being pretty good at Four Square. Tetherball? Not so much.

I learned at a fairly early age that I hate pressure. I hate the pressure to perform well in a game or sport and hated the feeling of disappointing myself or someone else. So, I decided that I would play for fun and that I wouldn't take it too seriously which allowed me to still be competitive but not care if i lost. This has suited me well and I think I'm a happier, better, and more fun person for it. Because nobody likes to play with people who take it too seriously. Except I DO play to win. Oh yes.

I ran track in Jr High because I liked to run and was fairly fast. But this wasn't very fun because again, I hated that pressure. Just me out there running the 100 meters? Heavens no. My favorite race was the 4x1 relay because there were 3 other girls. Also, in practice, we had to run long distance which I LOATHE. So i said sayonara to that one.

Other sports that I like:

Pogo-sticking. I used to count how many times i could bounce without having to stop. I got very far/high.

Fortunately I never got very good at this which saved me from being a dorky "unicycle girl" on campus, for example.

Darts. During my freshman year of college, I got amazingly good at darts. We had a tiny dart board that we hung on the bulletin board near the phone. I used to go back into my roommate's room and would fastball pitch the darts and hit the target. Until, that is, that fateful day when a throw went awry and i hit the phone, breaking the Caller ID which is essential to dorm life. Sorry roomies.

Capture the Flag. I love this game. I loved it in elementary school, I loved it when we played it at camp, I would play it now and love it and win. I am stealth, I am tricky, I lie and pretend I have to go wash the mud off my legs in a stream that's behind the opponents' flag and then hide in the sagebrush and wait for the perfect moment to strike (at least i do this when i'm at girls camp), and I have catlike speed and reflexes.

I like croquet. One time my roommate made me go on a blind date with her friend. It was a last-minute thing (yeah, neat) and we were to play croquet in a nearby park with a huge group of people I didn't know. My date and I thought it would be fun to totally pretend I was awesome even though I had never played before. We talked me up to be some kind of champion so people would be all intimidated and nervous. Well, I ended up totally killing. What a fluke. I was hitting the ball 20 feet away and landing it 3 centimeters in front of the hoop thing. And I beat EVERYONE, and gave a pre-winning-shot speech and everything, which probably made everyone like me a lot. I tell you, I am a totally and completely erratic player of all kinds of sports and games. I can't ever play croquet again though because i want to end on a high note and chances are good it'd be all downhill.

Trampoline. I have not jumped on a trampoline in years, which saddens me, but I used to work very hard on tricks and flips. I would be a bit ashamed to say I couldn't do a back flip until when I was in high school and I practiced over and over and over again, trying to muster up the guts to just do it until I finally did. I would be ashamed, but I felt so victorious and euphoric when I finally did it and so I'm just proud of myself. After a good jumpathon, feeling ready to be done and go inside, I used to jump as high as i could and then just launch myself off the trampoline and land/roll on the grass. I never hurt myself which is a miracle because trampolines, especially ours, (rectangular on bars & springs, no net) are total hazards.

Badminton. I'm really, really good at this.

Sports that are boring, aka sports I suck at:

Soccer. I don't really have any memories playing soccer but it's just not one that thrills me.

Volleyball. Same kind of thing. It is probably more fun to play with people who know how to play. I am not saying i am one of those people. I am just saying.

Frisbee. I can throw a frisbee to where I want it to go maaaybe on the 1932nd try. Seriously. I played frisbee with the Bangladeshi neighbor girls (I am mentioning their ethnicity because I think it's fun that i live by a family from Bangladesh) and their little brother, and I was embarrassingly crap. Seriously, it was not funny. They were so polite and a million times better than me. I am all for making fun of myself but it's only so fun/funny after the 50th time I throw it nowhere near a living soul and jokes of "whoops! That was the wind-ha ha" and then making the kids go fetch it.

This takes me to my next one: Softball. I actually enjoy softball and would not be opposed to a game, except I have such vivid memories of sucking it up BAD one warm Saturday in a church game my 15th year or so. Seriously, whatever could go wrong, did that game. The planets aligned and spat on me. I walked away, vowing to tuck that day into the "classic bad day" file, which I have, and which I open if I want to have a laugh or need some humble pie. Let's just say a good nickname for me would be "Wild Thing." And also, "Sir Tripsalot" and "Accidental-Bunt Girl." Ashley can tell you about this.

Bowling. I don't mind going bowling but I am amazingly bad at it. One time in elementary school I bowled a 130, my highest score (of my LIFE). This furthers my theory that i peaked in many ways, in elementary school. But yeah, I can barely break eighty now. (truly) I could and possibly should have stopped bowling after that 130 game, to end on a high note like croquet, but a) how was I to know i'd hit my peak at 11 years old? and b) bowling is more about doing something with your friends, that nobody is really good at. Because let's face it, people who are good at it are kind of dorks. And that is what I tell myself. I also tell myself, and others, that my goal is to hit as few pins as possible without throwing it in the gutter. In which case, I am remarkably good. Remarkably.

And thus concludes this eterni-post on me & sports.


Natalie R. said...

You totally need to try baseball. Softball is lame - the ball is harder to hit far, harder to catch and to throw. Baseball is WAY more fun! :0)

Joel said...

Here's a sport (okay, game) you should try.

)en said...

oh man, seesaw. I forgot about that one. I could be the girl with the ribbon. I love ribbon "tricks."

Baseball, softball, I'd just like to hit the ball farther than my toe.

Ashley said...

Oh boy did I enjoy this post. I seriously laughed out loud at "Sir Tripsalot" and "Accidental-Bunt Girl." Man alive. That day goes in my "fond memories of Jen" file in the subfolder "Jen makes a fool of herself." :D Classic.