Friday, February 03, 2006
Friday Five.... Sports... good for the mind AND body
Remember when your parents forced you to play (insert sport here) ?? With my family it was always "you will always play a sport, every season, all year." So on this dreary friday I thought I'd recount some of my success/misadventures in the five sports that I've participated in to put a little sunshine in y'alls day.
1). Baseball: I was only on a baseball team one year. My parents wanted me to be "part of a team" and the only thing I liked about baseball was the fun pants I got to wear, could I hit? didn't get a basehit all season if that tells you anything. Could I catch? the only catch I made all year was an act of god, I was in right field (is anyone suprised?) and a pop fly came right at me, so what did I do? I put my hand out and closed my eyes and the ball dropped into my glove, I think Jesus felt sorry for subjecting me to that much torture all year. And if anyone makes a joke about me not being good at a sport with balls coming at me I will beat you like you stole something.
2). Basketball: Again with the team sports. You'd think because I'm tall and I have the armspan of an orangutan I'd be good at Basketball. You would then be a liar. I didn't like the contact, the running, the shooting, pretty much anything but the shiny shorts I got to wear. So what was my parents solution so that this didn't turn out like the baseball fiasco? That's right, they bribed me. For every time I came in contact with the ball they'd give me $2.00, now if that's not effective parenting I don't know what is. That season made me enough money to buy the nintendo I was drooling over...... even though I still didn't make a single basket.
3). Swimming: I'm actually not a bad swimmer, if you grew up in Montgomery County, specifically Montgomery Village, you swam during the summer.... it was like the law. So for the better part of my formative years I was a Stingray. I love the water and being in the pool, you don't sweat, you get to play sharks and minnows after practice, and you don't have to wear much... ps our speedos were the most heinous red and black striped speedos you ever did see. I even won high point trophy a couple times. ANYWAYS:
funny story number one involved the beginning of practices in early may on an especially cold year, now I don't have much body fat on me which equals not much insulation, and I was complaining to my mom that I was cold. Being the truly understanding woman that she is she said "be tough" so I went back to the pool..... that's when I lost feeling in my arms and legs. so, with both hands clenched and my body freezing I went into the shower and was crying I was so cold. About 15 minutes later my mom came and couldn't find me, and someone actually had to tell her that I was blue and curled up in a ball under the shower..... yeah that'll teach that b*tch to not believe me......
funny story number two involves me at some random swim meet, I'm 9, I'm tough sh*t, I'm staring at the older boys in their swimwear for what seems to be no apparent reason. So it's my turn to race, I get up, the gun goes off.... I'm out like a bullet, I'm definitely at least two body lengths ahead of anyone else in my heat and all of a sudden I hear the roar of the crowd, so, being the gracious person I am..... I stop in the middle of the pool and slowly turn 360 degrees all the while waving to everyone, thanking them for coming out to cheer me on....yeah that didn't go over so well
4). Diving: I was a diver from when I was about 11 through college. I loooooved it. My favorite was platform, you're so high up and it's only you and the open air, feels totally like flying. Plus you can't beat boys in speedos, I'm sorry, you can't. I used to practice 4 hours a day, 6 days a week all year round. In the summer when I was a lifeguard at 11, I'd get up at 6, drive to the pool, dive for four hours and then go to work as a lifeguard. One of my coaches was an Chinese national whose grasp on the english language wasn't what you'd call.... proficient. Her favorite phrase to use was.. "KEEP YOUR BUTTS TIGHT".... because you know, I only clenched the right cheek? and to show dis-satisfaction with our performance... "You make me sick, do you want to make me sick?" ha ha ha ha ha haha ah ha. this is the same woman that made us all stand on our toes a la ballet point without the shoes and walk around so our toes would point better and then make us walk around the pool on our hands.... well whatever she did worked..... got all american :). However my parents after about a year of me participating in the Junior Olympics couldn't watch me anymore, I mean if you see your kid throwing himself off of a 30 foot concrete structure over and over and over, you'd probably be a little worried too.
5). Gymnastics: the sport that I was just not meant to participate in but loved. So like many parents who don't know what to do with their kid who's bouncing off the walls they sent me to a gymnastics class.... which I LOVED. I started that when I was 4, and quickly grew into 3-4 hour practices after school 4 times a week which included ballet (for floor exercise) weight training, as well as the gymnastics itself. My coach was some ex-russian who thought that if he yelled loud enough we'd be more afraid of him than doing a back handspring, flip flop, back full into a punch front. I just looked him straight in the eye and said... I don't want to and you can't make me..... yeah he didn't like that one too much. So my knees are pseudo deformed and if I put high amounts of repetitive stress on them it chips away at my kneecap.... lovely I know, however the gymnastics didn't help that so at the tender age of 11 I was told by my coaches that I'd have to have surgery on my knees to be competitive and that I was really too tall so I might want to consider something else.... so what did I do? I actually did participate in the circus for a brief stint and then into diving.... it's gymnastics in a speedo.