I suck at sports. I’ve touched on that before, but it’s something that didn’t sink in until after I left High School, along with a great deal of trial and error.
As I a kid I’d always wanted to play soccer. I’d become enamored with the sport after my dad recounted a tail of playing it himself in school, and getting whacked in the head for his troubles. If there’s a lesson in there I didn’t get the memo. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the best student at the time and could never get my grades high enough to try out. Despite that, I never lost my desire to play and when the opportunity finally struck, I jumped.
After my family returned from England I was faced with a single year of High School before facing the dread College and was determined to make the most of the experience. When my local school started soccer tryouts I signed up and immediately ran into problems. The chief one was coordination–or lack of there of. I wasn’t particularly adept at maneuvering my feet, I flayed my legs rather than using them to block the ball, and I wasn’t a particularly good goalie. I don’t know if I’d have made the team or not, but my family moved to another town and my soccer team goals were dashed.
At the next school I attended I decided on a different tack. Since soccer tryouts were essentially over I thought it better to aim for track. After all, I jogged a mile or two on a daily basis. How hard could it be?
Pretty darn difficult as it turned out.
I wasn’t particularly fast so I’d been working on the long distance team. But even when endurance is the primary focus, speed is necessary. And when your dead last on a practice run by thirty minutes or more, something is wrong. Still–stubborn and blockheaded as I am–I didn’t quit, even when I wasn’t selected for the first competition. I would’ve probably kept at it if I hadn’t had to leave the school to get my GED. When I handed in my track uniform it hit me–sports wasn’t for me.
It doesn’t bother me much these days. While I know what I do poorly in, I also know the things that I excel at. Or maybe not. As stubborn as I am, I’m not sure I could tell the difference.
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no artistic claim to it.