Hi Internetters! Are you good at sports?
For me, it’s hard to imagine what not being sucky feels like. It probably doesn't help that, yours truly is probably the worst runner, worst thrower, worst catcher, just all around worst-at-sports person you've met so far. But even I remember having fun once.
I lived on a busy street in Beijing in the 90s. I played with my friends inside an apartment building. Yes, inside. Our parents didn’t want us to be kidnapped on the street. Kidnapping was a rampant problem back then, we were told that if we walked outside, the ‘bad people’ would put us in a big white cloth sack. We didn’t want to be put in sacks, so we played in a tiny corner in the hall way, about the size of a standard bathroom.
I’d never had any instructions on how to play soccer. There were no rules except you were supposed to kick the ball into one of the walls. My 9 year old self wore open toed sandals (I may not have been the most aware of safety). We had so much fun, a boy improvised an enthusiastic play-by-play commentary while playing, we joyously jammed our kid sandals into the wall and each-other, not one single person felt left out.
I’m sad to say I’ve never had fun playing a team sport since.
In 5th grade, when I lagged behind all my friends during a class run, I started to suspect I may suck at sports. In grade 7, the year I immigrated in Canada, my whole school went out running, I came in second last place. Last place was another immigrant girl who wasn’t allowed to play any sports in her home country. I realized then I really sucked.
After surviving many years of being the last person chosen to play on a team, I rejoiced when PE classes were no longer mandatory. "Never shall I play sports ever again!" I vowed. It's been 15 years since then, It is only natural that I’ve come to assume that my hand-eye coordination and cardiovascular abilities must be worse off than anybody I had met or will ever meet.
It was some time last year, the physical challenges of being in my 30s dawned on me. I was getting muscle sores from holding a paint brush, a paint brush, you guys! If I continue to be a slug, I will be physically disabled before the age of 45.
That's it. I will not put up with being a weakling no more. I am going to build confidence in what my body can do. I am going to get strong, I am going to take on the world!
Maybe one day, I will even forget that I sucked.