Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Sporting Life


It may be really hard to believe, but I was an awkward (goofy, uncoordinated) child. That awkwardness has carried itself forward through adolescence (poor dancer, shy, reclusive) to young adulthood (bad stock choices, apartments in weird neighborhoods) to what I will euphamistically call early to mid-adulthood (still catch myself wanting a Corvette).

But seriously (and if you believe that, you're reading the wrong blog), physical lack of coordination that manifested itself in just being awful in gym class and getting picked last for every team activity still curses me. The trouble is now lack of coordination usually shows up when I have some speeding power tool in my hand. Stop, drop, count to ten. Got ten? Good, you haven't lost a finger.

And I still get picked last. Trouble is, it's women doing the picking and the game is "Couples".

An exciting board game where some folks walk off together, some close the bar alone, and most of us wonder what the hell just happened.

I played the usual sports when I was a kid: Baseball, some football but, being one of the smaller kids and getting picked on a lot, I quite frankly found football redundant. I played hockey. At least there was an unconcealed intent to maim.

I walked away from sports in my teen years and stayed away for a while. I was partying with the Marlboro Man and his pet Camel. There was no point.

When I finally quit that nasty, dirty habit that I wish could be made safe so I could smoke and look cool again, I decided to get into physical activity to fully renounce my checkered past. Trouble was, my past wasn't quite ready to renounce me.

We used to have a company-sponsored running event. When I first started working here, I hadn't become Joe Healthy just yet. Joe Camel was closer to the truth, and Joe Camel buddying up with Joe Six Pack pretty much hit the nail on the head.

I remember someone asking me if I was in the race that coming weekend.

No, but I can be. Can I take my car?

Why?

Silly, that's where the drink holder and the ashtray are.

We had a running/walking path available to us. Didn't make sense without motorized vehicles. Which reminds me, last Sunday I ran my regular route past the local cemetery. There was a teen something riding on the cemetery paths on a motorized scooter with a smoke hanging out of his mouth. Taking this foreshadowing thing a little far, aren't you?

I started playing soccer with a local lunchtime pick up team. It was fun. We were good and got better. Some of us started investing in proper cleats. Then team jerseys. Then kneepads. Then some of us took the equipment thing too far and just broke off to play football. We liked the euphamism of trying to maim that football offers.

Like I said, we were good and got better. To the point of wanting to take on another pick-up squad. We found an engineering firm a town over and took them on.

Rule One: Never believe your own press clippings. Yes, we were good but that was in comparison to...

Us.

These guys were immigrants: Jamaicans, Indians, Pakistanis, Russians. Guys to whom soccer was a misnomer for football and football was life.

The game, and it was only a game in the name-a real game is where two teams show up-was fun for someone, not for us. We were dachshunds in a room full of shepherds.

Soccer fell apart when most of the players either left, got laid off or decided that adults with families don't come home with bruises like that anymore.

So I played softball. Trouble with that is, I don't quite throw like a girl, I throw like a girl in the middle of a grand mal seizure. I used to bean the shortstop. Throwing to first after a bunt.

On top of which, after playing soccer, I didn't quite get a sport you could put your beer and cigarette down on when your turn to play came up.

I used to like to cycle when I was a kid. So I bought a bike.

On the advice of a friend.

Who was a mountain biker.

I bought a mountain bike.

I had no idea what mountain biking was.

For those of you who don't know what mountain biking is, it is the following.

Envision a landscape so harsh and foreboding that it fairly screams "Zero Chance of Survival" at you.

Now take a bicycle across it.

Those big knobby tires make the neatest noise as I ride them on the pavement. In town. And no where else.

So I decided to take up running. Easy, right?

Right.

4 Comments:

Blogger Askinstoo said...

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4:34 PM  
Blogger ThomasAllen said...

Hey, you have an excellent blog here! Great job. I have a norstar voice mail site. It pretty much covers norstar voice mail related stuff.

Come and check it out when you get time :-)

4:34 PM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

Just thought I'd let you know about a site where you can make over $800 a month in extra income. Go to this site   MAKE MONEY NOW  and put in your zip code..... up will pop several places where you can get paid to secret shop, take surveys, etc.  It's free.  I found several and I live in a small town!

4:35 PM  
Blogger thestraightpoop said...

Jesus, I am afraid I have nothing to sell and nowhere to send you for secret ways to make money but...all the same, just saying hi CB. I have my own sporting war stories too, that I will have to write about some day...yikes. I understand from our special friend that you want more Paris pictures?!

1:15 PM  

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