Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I am not an athletic person. I never have been. Growing up homeschooled, our version of P.E. was a few rounds of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" led by my mom in the living room. (Athleticism was never really her thing either, obv.) In fourth grade I had to pass the President's Physical Fitness test, and trained for weeks at the park by my house to run a mile, do the V-sit, and hold a pull-up for 7 seconds (note: I just checked the facts on this... SEVEN seconds?! Man...). I remember one evening on the playground with my parents at the monkey bars, preparing for the aforementioned extended pull-up.

After several of my unsuccessful attempts to keep my chin above the bar while my dad looked at his watch and counted down the seven seconds (note: I swear it was longer when I was younger), my mom decided to try and engage my mental strength in the hopes of it somehow carrying over into my physical reserves.  As I dangled there, legs flailing and complaining that I couldn't do it and just wanted to go home, she said, "Okay sweetie, this time just pretend there's a brownie up there!"


This is one of those moments where my adult self looks back on a situation and goes, "Did she really just say that?!"  Sort of like when you all of a sudden remember your dad flipping pancakes in his underwear, or realize Aunt Barb had scotch, not iced tea, in that glass all those years...  Idyllic childhood memories all of a sudden become vaguely tainted with adult realizations.  I know it frustrated the hell out of me at the time, and I really, really tried to picture a big, square, fudgy brownie resting on top of the peeling paint of those iron monkey bars, but all I kept thinking was, "Forget the brownie and just let me GET DOWN!"

When I was even younger, my parents enlisted me in a community tee-ball league (my one and only foray into the world of extracurricular athletics) which basically involved me standing in left field picking daisies and making ponytails through the back of my hat while stray balls occasionally bounced past me.  I couldn't catch (or throw for that matter), and had absolutely no interest in baseball, so why would I try and go after the ball?  In an effort to improve my confidence in the outfield, my mom pulled me aside one afternoon for an easy game of catch.  After several fumbled softballs, she went to throw the ball again and said, "Now this time, pretend it's a pink diamond!"

Lord help me.

Is this explaining anything?  It should fill in a lot of gaps for some of you.

Needless to say, this only worked for a few minutes before I realized I was just as bad at catching a pink diamond as I was a big ugly softball.

I've come to the point now where I've just accepted it.  Athletics are not something I yearn to be good at-- I'm not one of those girls who looks good in sweats and a baseball cap, I'm much more at home in a cocktail dress or even a pair of good jeans and a clean white button-down...  I'm better at baking than baseball, and that suits me just fine.  But seriously now, can someone just teach me to catch?


Anonymous said...

Wish I could help you there... every time I try to play catch with the kids, I end up getting nailed in the head at least once.

I'm not really the althletic type either. To motivate myself at the gym, especially on the treadmill, I have to keep telling myself "You want to fit back into your Joe's Jeans, DON'T YOU CHUBBY???" (And that only works about 43% of the time.)

A Fabulous Nanny said...

Bahaha this describes my childhood perfectly. I was semi-forced onto the junior high basketball team, but kept apologizing to people on the court when I would bump into them. Needless to say, it didn't work out so well!