A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Monday, August 27, 2007

So what if I failed ping pong...

Let me just say this right up front, I am not athletic. Never good at sports, have a fear of objects flying towards me, don't enjoy exercising. In fact, I used to have a cartoon hanging in my office where a doctor was telling a patient, "Whatever you do, DON'T exercise!!" Okay, I do enjoy walking and an occasional bike ride. But that's it. Since my husband's heart issues back in April, we've both been using a treadmill fairly regularly, but it's not a source of joy or excitement.

I've tried gyms. First of all, I can't even begin to fit into one of those little gym-bunny outfits. Especially the thong variety. As heard on the tv show Judging Amy "I've spent the last 30 years of my life trying to keep my underwear out of my butt, why would I wear one of those?!?" The places are too crowded and I remember trying to use a machine, huffing and puffing all the way, while some 20-something girl in her cute little outfit stands there rolling her eyes waiting for me to get off the machine. Nope, not for me.

When I was six my sister was born. By the time she was four she had more energy than a Category 5 hurricane. Me? Just give me a good book and leave me alone. Once my mom said, "Don't you wish you had as much energy as Pat?" I said, "No! What would I do with it?"

PE classes were always a nightmare for me. First we had to wear those horrible little one-piece blue uniforms, and then (HORROR) we had to take community showers with Mrs. Cook watching us, smiling, and waiting to hand us towels. I mean, the sports part was bad enough, but the group shower was mortifying for someone as shy as I was. And in later years I began to wonder about Mrs. Cook.

Oh, I tried. Really I did. I wanted to be coordinated and be one of the kids actually picked for the team - not the one left who had to be "placed" on a team. But it didn't happen. Here are some of my more illustrous attempts at althleticism.

Kickball - junior high, dressed in aforementined uniform, kicked at the ball, foot rolls over the top of ball, fall flat on my butt. But not before I wind up with a huge scratch on my thigh, which, of course, the PE teacher had to show everyone!

Tetherball - I don't know who in the heck came up with this game, but I damn near got knocked silly because I kept missing the ball and getting belted in the head with it. Hmmm, that may explain a few things.

Dodgeball - couldn't dodge it. Constantly got hit

Baseball - oh, pleeeaaassssseee. After being hit in the head by a flying rock at the age of 10, I tried very hard to steer clear of any flying objects. So I certainly couldn't play in the outfield. If I saw that ball coming, I ran the other way or covered my eyes. And hitting - I believe that takes something called coordination. None of that here.

Basketball - I was pretty tall and gangly for a brief period in my life so I was able to play guard. But that was short lived. I can drool, but never could dribble. And actually making a basket? Hmmppff.

Ping Pong - I failed ping pong. There - I've said it. Apparently my partner and I were talking too much and kept forgetting to hit the little plastic ball. So, not only did I never win a game, I also got marked down for talking too much! Who knew? And can anyone explain why I had to take a friggin' shower after playing ping pong??

Modern Dance - if you knew me you would be laughing right now just thinking about it. I almost mastered the graceful leap, expect for that small part about landing on my feet and not on my knees.

When I got to college, I had to take PE as a freshman so I decided to try some more interesting sports.

Bowling - I actually did okay at this one. Well, except for the time the ball dropped on my foot. And the time my thumb got stuck in the hold and I damn near went down the gutter with the ball. Oh, yeah, and did you know that you have to be really careful getting your ball out of the rack when the other balls are returning because they could slam your fingers really hard? Well, you do.

Archery - Here's a trick I learned. You have to actually hang on to the arrow until you release the string or cord or whatever the heck it is. If you accidently let go of the arrow before the string is released, it will drop - point first - onto your toe. Yup, you heard it here.

Fencing - Oh, yeah. This is a really beneficial sport. Wear a stinky mask, dress up in a Michelin man outfit, and try to stab people. All I can say is thank god for blunt points or I might not be here today.

Golf - I even bought clubs for this one. Didn't do too badly, but one day I was working on nine holes when a park ranger came by and told us that, if we saw a bull on the golf course, to climb a tree or something. Yeah, right. Ha, ha. Funny ranger. But, I did live in Tucson at the time and, shortly after the warning, there was a bull running down the course with a pickup truck behind it and a couple of cowboys trying to lasso him or something. So, that was the end of golf for me.

As an adult I tried racquetball. Had a couple of good hits, but facing front when that ball is flying around behind you is way too freaky. Then I hit myself in the lip with the racquet which caused my lip to swell for a couple days. Hung up the racket.

So, no Hall of Fame for me. But, I can rub my belly and pat my head at the same time!


Desert Diva said...

I'm kind of a "weekend" (OK vacation) athlete. I'm much more active in the summer.

As for the gym, I hear you. Who need to be reminded that they're not twenty anymore and face the wrath of "sweet young things."

Sadly, I do remember the "blue gymsuit" with button snaps and the communal showering from junior high school. How did I ever live that down?

Halfmexican Mama said...

You poor gal...Im not very good at sports either...those stories are priceless though..you gave me a good laugh which I really needed..Thanks Sandi!

Wendy said...

I hated the community showers in PE too. So glad we didn't have to wear the blue uni though. I played some sports in elementary school but once we got to middle school I was afraid of NOT making the teams so I never tried anymore. I should have played tennis. My cousin and I were paired together in PE in 9th grade and we beat everyone. That was fun. Love your stories...very entertaining!

Chris said...

I basically love all sports. Golf is probably the worst one for me. I'm too ADD to watch a little ball and chase it.

Halfmexican Mama said...

Just stoping by to say "HI" have a great day!

ira said...

hahahahaha..... you're really funny clumsy..!

Atleast you dint give up without trying! :)