That Time I Was an Athlete

You might not have guessed it, but I used to be really into sports. Well, not so much interested as accepting. My parents were of the belief that keeping your kids busy with extracurriculars like sports kept them from getting involved in less-positive endeavors. We weren’t anyways and there were positives to the experience. All the same, I did state my participation in the past tense. This was my athletic career growing up.


Ballet was awesome. My time at Homer Bryant Ballet (now the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center) is the best memory. I remember trying to point my feet forward and failing. I always tended to point my feet at a having him come over what felt like every 4 seconds to point them forward again.


This was a sport I was not a fan of. Actually, I can say I’m still not a fan. My only moment of joy from this sport was playing against some old grade school frenemies…There was an attempt to recruit me to play in high school. But once I slaughtered those nightmares away, I washed my hands of the sport.


I’m told in t-ball, I liked to get distracted in the outfield and spend my time trying to catch butterflies. I also ran the bases in reverse a lot…Once I actually bothered to learn the sport correctly and shifted into my short softball career, those insects were still tempted. No. But seriously, I ended up in that awkward situation where the coach and your parent are screaming at you to do two different things. You don’t trust either 100% so you just stand there randomly until the girl covering second base tags you out. And then you just really want to go to sleep or watch cartoons…


Underhand serving was my preference. I had more than one game where I served us straight into a win. And then, as we grew older, suddenly the goal was to keep up a long volley? What’s up with that? If I can served and win, why do I want to prolong it? Never got that one.

Once high school came around everyone wanted to get super competitive and was only concerned with winning. Plus, I was intimidated by all the tall chicks around me and by the end of training camp, all I could say was, “Nope.” So that’s what I did. Outside of occasionally bumping a ball around with friends, it’s long-lost to the past.


Forced to take golf lessons. Hated said lessons. Drove a golf cart while participating in a high school fundraiser. Did so badly I held the team up and caused a backup on the course. Was only allowed to hit off someone else’s ball. Grew bored and only interested in driving the cart. Scored the worst in entire competition. Won (what was then awesome) palm pilot. Basked in the glares by the actual winners. Never played again.

Team Handball

Okay. So, I didn’t actually play on a team, just in gym class. Broke a classmate’s arms after “getting too into it” and slammed the dodgeball hard against his arm. He thought it was hilarious. I was picked on for it. Did a sweet slide off my gym shirt across the gym floor. Forced to “take a break” for the duration of that class period. Grew creative in gym participation afterwards.

Track & Field

Did this for years. Earned many trophies and ribbons. The 100m and 400m were my sweet spots. Joined a travel team. Suddenly had to train with long distance runners. I NEVER WANT TO RUN AROUND A TRACK 25X+ AS A “WARM UP” IN MY LIFE AGAIN. Note the caps lock. My reason for stopping? Okay. Stay with my on this one.

If I were to leave a practice/competition drained, that meant I’d be in more danger if ever attacked/victim of a potential kidnapping. I’d literally be too tired to run away, adrenaline rush or not. That’s not acceptable. So I polite declined to continue my activity with the sport. After all these extra years of energy, I’m confident my adrenaline storage is at optimal potential. So it was all worth it.

I realize this makes me seem even more eclectic and lazy than you might have already judged me as. I respect your opinion and my right to acknowledge it even more. On a less sarcastic note, exercise is enjoyable. Just don’t ask me to join a team. Or present it as a casual gathering where we happen to play the same sport on a regular schedule…possibly with a uniform of some kind. Semantics, you know. It’s all about presentation.


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