Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I Should Throw More.

Anyone who’s known me long enough to either toss me a set of keys or stand on the receiving end of a similar exchange knows this: I am not a coordinated human being. (And for those of you who haven’t experienced such a transaction, just know that holding me accountable for airborne metal objects will result in an “AUGH, MY EYE!” from you, me, someone within a fifty-yard radius, or maybe all three of us.) Unless Wii Tennis counts, I am not good at sports, I have never been good at sports, and I have long been okay with this fact—after all, a guy can’t be good at everything, and not being able to hit a thing with another thing seems like a fair trade for being able to write a well-punctuated paragraph about said deficiency. But recently, I've realized: I am not good at sports, I have never been good at sports, and, as it stands, I will never be good at sports. And I’m not sure I am entirely okay with that last part.

I spent a good portion of my thirteen years of gym class moaning, “Why do we even have to have gym class?” while shooting underhand, being responsible for another “side out, rotate!” or making sure I wasn't open. But I’m learning that the answer to this question is: because, as an adult, people expect you to be able to toss them that pen or run for that train—heck, for some people, throwing a football counts as communication. And after high school, opportunities to learn such skills are hard to come by. Because you can't exactly practice these things in the privacy of your own home
which is to say, without making a day of itand let’s face it: a twenty-two year old guy learning how to bat looks kind of ridiculous.

But at the same time, I feel that I ultimately have nobody to blame but myself for my lack of flag footballing ability, these days. In gym class, you have excuses—in grade school, I was tiny, in middle school, I was fat (which wasn’t my fault, it was food’s), and in general, mandatory sports means you’re not playing exclusively with friends, and by “friends” I mean “people who would choose to give up the ball rather than put you in a full body cast.” At twenty-two years old, though, I’m now in the position to learn whatever I want to at my own speed, and I’m probably as healthy as I’ll ever be. So the only thing keeping me from not feeling like I’m 15 years old every time that I hold a baseball bat is the fact that, well, I haven’t gone out of my way to hold a baseball bat since I was 15 years old.

So it’s something of a Catch-22, really: I don’t have the confidence to play even the most basic of sports because I’m not very good at them, but I’m not very good at them because I don’t have the confidence to play even the most basic of sports.

Somebody help.

(Yes, I realize this is the second post in a row that ended with those two words, which: these are desperate times, apparently. And I also realize—though I’m sure you don’t—that this post directly contradicts something that I wrote a year ago, to the point where I seem like much more of a neurotic mess now than I did in April of 2006, which: uh, see part one of this paragraph, apparently.)

Background noise: Ben Folds, “Learn To Live With What You Are.” If only it were so easy, Ben Folds.


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