Friday, February 13, 2015

Playing With Balls

I've never been the most athletic person. Ever. When I was in kindergarten, my class had a walk-a-thon to raise money for....something or other, & they made us practice. Yes, they made us practice walking around the gym in a circle. They must really have not had anything else for us to do those days (yes, this practice took up multiple days). Anyway, at one point the walking turned into running & I fell; the very next day my leg was in so much pain that we thought I had broken it. It turned out to just be a severely pulled muscle & I was out of commission for a few days. That's the story of how I hurt myself practicing for a walk-a-thon.

The next year, after we had moved towns, my parents decided to put me in t-ball. My 6 year old self was so overwhelmed by trying to deal with all of the kids, as well as trying to retain all of the intricacies of the game, that I had a hard time remembering for sure what I was supposed to do. Luckily, I just did what my heart told me & it was usually right (that's always the case, isn't it?). One time after hitting the ball off of the stand I ran to first base & asked the kid on there if I went to the right place. "Yeah, stupid" was his response. After the first game I asked who had won, since I noticed that no one was keeping score. "Oh, both teams won!" exclaimed the adult that I asked. I responded, "What's the point then?" They didn't really have an answer.

Also, t-ball was where I learned my first cuss word. Damn. I learned it from the Baptist pastor's son (I was the son of the Methodist minister) & it was LITERALLY the end of the world.

About 4 years later we moved to Rocky Mount & my parents put me in a soccer league that one of my cousins volunteered in. The team I ended up on was literally the worst. We only scored once the ENTIRE SUMMER & it was because a kid from the other team got confused & kicked the ball into their own goal. I really struggled with soccer. For starters, it was summer in eastern North Carolina, which is miserably, insufferably hot & humid. We had also just moved for the fourth time in my 10 year existence & I was over it (it didn't help that there had been a lot of tension due to our move). I also had been home schooled for a few years & it was around this time that I started to develop into the social person I am today (i.e. not). Anyway, I had a hard time trying to talk to the other kids so I just did my own thing. During the first game I got hit in the stomach with the ball & it hurt so bad; I had a hard time breathing for a little while after that. A few games later I looked up right as the soccer ball came soaring through the air & hit me in the head, subsequently knocking me unconscious. When I opened my eyes, it was a few minutes later & multiple people, including my dad, were standing over me. They decided it was ok if I finished the game, & a few minutes later the ball came soaring back at me & I put up my hands to shield myself & was penalized with a hand-ball. I almost threw a temper tantrum because I HAD JUST BEEN HIT IN THE HEAD WITH THE BALL. OF COURSE I'M GOING TO TRY TO BLOCK IT FROM HAPPENING AGAIN. In the end, our team didn't even finish the season because of "rain."

That was 19 years ago & I haven't attempted to do any other organized sport. While I'm more coordinated now, I just don't have a desire or a competitive streak to get me to do it. Do I wish I had become a soccer legend? Absolutely. But I didn't. What did end up happening is a few months later I started playing piano & taking art classes. I was good at both of them, & then a few years later that I started doing community theater. Everyone has their own thing & while none of those things are still my thing, they were back then.

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