Thursday, May 25, 2006
Chris Reid, Sportsman
OK, but seriously, I have never played a sport, I have never followed sports, I have never liked sports. I don’t know teams. Or players. Or rules. The closest thing I have ever done is take Taekwondo (where I did get a black-belt, unbelievably) but I didn’t even like that very much. It can be problematic in a social setting, as most small-talk tends to revolve around sports and most people tend to not trust someone who doesn’t like the things they themselves find very interesting. So I have been ruminating on why this is: why do I have such an aversion to sports? Before I elaborate on my theories, a brief sidenote…
So I found myself bowling and playing golf this last week. Bowling I have done. And as per usual I sucked at it, but it was fun. Katie’s FASTWORKs program went bowling as their end-of-year party and I played with a few of the families and kids. There was a gentleman there who kept adamantly giving me tips on how to improve my bowling skills, and it actually did help a bit, I must say. However, since I bowl MAYBE twice a year, it’s almost not worth the effort to really try to get better.
As for the golfing, I’d never been golfing before. Last, Thursday, Matt and Mike invited me to join them at a driving range to play a 9-hole “par 3” course. I wasn’t what I would call good, but I wasn’t TERRIBLE per se. It was pretty fun, actually: the day was very pretty and sunny, and of course the company was quite enjoyable. Actually, I didn’t finish the course, though my last shot was my best. After flubbing quite a few shots, I evidently responded to Mike’s command to “spank the ball.” I replied “Consider it spanked,” and according to Mike and Matt, I got in position and swung my club perfectly. The only problem was I was halfway up the (short) fairway, so when I hit it, it soared beautifully- well over the green, across the little creek and halfway up another fairway. I stopped while I was ahead and called it a day. So what if the aim was terrible? The shot was perfect. Was it fun? Yep. Will I become a regular golfer? Nope.
SO back to my question: why do I have such an aversion to sports? My reasoning:
1) Physically, I suck. I’m fragile. I’m skinny. I have asthma. My breast-bone pops out of joint when I exert myself.
2) I have an uncanny ability to hurt myself in everyday life and I don’t like pain. I don’t need to exacerbate the situation by having people forcefully throw things at me expecting me to catch it.
3) I can’t catch things well, I have poor balance, and I have a STRONG knee-jerk reaction too dodge anything thrown at me (yet I like dodgeball, though perhaps this is because it allows me the chance to hone my dodging skills…)
4) I don’t like to practice things. This has always been the case. Taekwondo moves? Nope. My trumpet? Hated practicing. I hate just doing rote, mechanical exercises. Which might be why I’m not that good at anything.
5) I am not that competitive. I don’t care to be the best, nor do I care if other people try to be the best, especially at something I find to be trivial (like who can throw a ball the farthest)
6) As a kid, I really disliked a lot of the “sporty” kids, as I thought they were obnoxious. Therefore, I never wanted to join any team and be associated with them. (Imagine little old me, in first grade, passing judgement on a majority of my classmates. Yep, it’s easy to imagine, isn’t it? I’ve always kinda been a bastard. A sweet, friendly bastard, but a bastard nonetheless).
So there you have it. Some sports are more interesting too me than others (like Jeremy’s bike racing, or soccer), and occasionally I get sucked into watching a game and somewhat enjoying it (ie, the Superbowl). But I don’t foresee I’ll ever be a “sports guy.” With that said, I’ll probably have sports-crazy kids and end up coaching.