Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The athletic gene

I lack whatever that thing is that makes you good at, or like participating in, sports. Whatever it is, I don't have it. I was in gymnastics, dance, and softball as a kid. Oh! And horseback riding and swimming lessons, but never swim team.

Gymnastics was a joke. I think I lasted maybe a month's worth of lessons. I was(and still am) terribly afraid of heights and taking physical risks. So yeah. that rules gymnastics out pretty quickly.

Softball lasted, I think, four years. I think softball lost me when they switched from those cute short-shorts to the capri style(I'm sure this is not what actual softball uniforms are called, but this shows where my priorities were). I was sort of ok with softball for the first three years. I drew a lot of pictures in the dirt when I played second base. I caught exactly three balls when they made me catcher(Why? I have NO idea). And I was a huge fan of the free soda after games(Suicides anyone?).

Horseback riding was yet another joke. That fear of heights and physical risk? Oh yea. That reared it's head again. I think the straw that broke the horse's back was when the horse stepped on my foot. That.... hurt. I had already spent most of the lesson's crying, so.... That was a bust. I loved the idea of horseback riding. But actually doing it? Not so great. My parents weren't thrilled with that one. The boots and helmet had been expensive and now.... yea. Wasted. Sorry!

Swim lessons went ok. The water didn't scare me. I had a brief resistance to diving, but I was able to get over that one. I was also fortunate that no pool I ever frequented had a high dive, cause that would have been a total no-go. I came out of it knowing how to swim just fine. I can dive... kind of. I know the various strokes, but who in their spare time does the butterfly anyway?

Dance was the only one that had any kind of longevity. I started at 3, if I remember right. Stopped for a year at 5, then was back in at 6 or so, until we moved to Texas when I was 11. This is another one of many situations in my life where I really liked something, I was doing everything "right," but I just didn't have the right whatever to be really good. My body wasn't right, my this and that wasn't right, whatever. But it was a fun activity, and that was the end of it. I didn't pick it up again after we moved.

Oh. And there were two pathetic try-out incidents in middle school..... track and cheerleading. Both went, well, badly. I can't run to save my life and my ability to contort my body in air might be even worse.

I firmly believe that the value of sports is not in being good at them, but in enjoyment and the physical activity of it. I am the least competitive person ever. I hate competition, and so I'm not super excited about winning at sports. It's nice, but eh. You will never find me watching a sporting event by choice. I positively could not care less.

Which brings us to my children. I think Kadin inherited my non-athletic gene. And I'm sad, because my husband has the athletic gene, and he has it bad. Dear, dear, Kadin. He is so like me in so many ways.

But we started him in soccer when he was 5, I think. And he's never been a natural, but he tries(most of the time) and he enjoys it(generally). So we've carried on with it. I also really like soccer, as far as sports go. I kind of hate sports that require fifteen types of equipment and a special space to play at all and so on and so forth. Soccer's just you and a ball, and I think that's pretty great. And there's running. Running is great exercise. Back and forth, back and forth....

So Kadin's now 9, in the 4th grade. And this year, miracle of miracles, the kids are finally playing something that resembles an organized sport. There's finally technique, and defined positions, and real coaching, and an official ref, and it's amazing! Monday was the first game of the season, and Kadin definitely contributed, and his team won! Off to a great start! Their next game is tomorrow, and we're gonna hope for good things.

Do your kids play sports? Do they love it or hate it?

How about you? Did YOU play sports? Were you terrible like me?


  1. The Princess played soccer for about a half a dozen years and decided, this year, that she was done. I was a little sad. I liked that she liked it and played, but she was right about her other commitments which would have made soccer practice a bear. She's in band and takes baton class.

    The middle one? Yes, she's athletic. She's fearless and nimble. So far, just dance and gymnastics for her, but I think she'll play sports and do well in them. She's one of those kids.

    Too early to tell on the baby.

    Kadin looks happy playing soccer. That last picture is a happy kid.

    P.S. Heck no I never played sports. They all involved running and why would I do that??

  2. LOL! I'd be sad, too, if Kadin was years into soccer and wanted to quit. But if it was a well-founded decision, what am I gonna possibly do about it? Ansel wants to play soccer, too, but at his age around here it's basically soccer lessons, not joining a team and playing. So we'll see. I might just wait until spring when he's old enough to play in the league Kadin is in(in his own age group, of course).