Me When I'm Down
while this sort of embarrassing event would actually happen MANY
times over the years, there is one incident in particular that stands
out in my mind. In fact, this particular P.E. class was so awful
that it solidly ranks as #2 on my "Horrifyingly Embarrassing,
Wishing I Was Anyplace Else In the World, This Can't Really Be Happening"
Scale, coming in just a notch below #1: Performing the Tango in
My College Ballroom Dancing Class with Mauricio, Who Was Not Only
a Hairy-Chested Colombian Man with a Village People Moustache, but
also the FRIGGIN' TEACHER!
was standing alone in the middle of the baseball field, while my
classmates stared at me like I had some dreaded disease. And then
the debate started.
coach! I had Bloom last time!"
I don't want him! We won't stand a chance!"
don't give me Bloom! He's useless out there!"
debate lasted nearly two more minutes before the teacher mercifully
assigned me to a team, a decision that was met with mixed reactions
("Ha ha! You got stuck with Bloom!" or "Crap! We
might as well not even play now!").
I was placed in the outfield. This was perfectly fine by me because
it meant I could stand all by myself, very, very, very far from
the action. Seriously, my classmates were playing baseball and I
was a good zip code away. Now you'd think this would've been
a comfortable enough distance to prevent me from suffering any additional
humiliation, right? C'mon, that would've been a direct violation
of the Klutz Code, which clearly states:
of the distance between the Klutz (referred to herein, henceforth
and backwards as "Schmoe") and the athletic activity
taking place, Schmoe will always, without fail, find him/herself
involved in a situation where Schmoe is called upon to perform
an athletic feat. Naturally, this feat will be accomplished
with disastrous results."
that's exactly what happened. You see, in addition to being a big
sports fan, God also has a tremendous sense of humor, which explains
why, despite the fact that I was so deep into the outfield that
I couldn't even see the actual field without squinting, the ball
went sailing through the air (in dramatic slow motion, with the
Jaws theme playing) and came directly to me!
the ball came right to me and, of course, I didn't catch it. I didn't
even come close. Instead, the ball landed on the ground and I went
chasing after it, listening to the respective cheers and groans
from the two teams, until I finally got to the ball and heaved it
with all my might, sending it sailing triumphantly through the air
about ten feet before it dropped to the ground.
to the ball and threw it again. It went another ten feet. So I chased
it again. And threw again. Only this time I watched in despair as
the ball, which now weighed 45 pounds, traveled a measly five feet.
Several minutes and nearly a dozen throws later, the ball landed
in the vicinity (read: a good quarter mile) of one of my teammates,
who quickly scooped it up and threw it effortlessly to home plate
-- while still finding time to yell out, "Thanks for nothing,
this type of thing was common as I grew up. However, as I got older,
I realized that my lack of Sportsessence was actually OK. I mean,
so what if I couldn't catch a stupid baseball? Who cares if every
time I went to bat, the other team chanted "Easy out! Easy
out!" while the pitcher instructed his teammates to, "Come
in closer, guys!"? And does it really matter that one time
in high school P.E. class, when teams were chosen for a soccer game,
I was picked last -- behind Sam Tiffs, the kid with one leg? HELL
I'll agree that being good at sports does provide some advantages
in life ("And so we made the deal right there on the golf course!
30 million, just like that!"), but c'mon, there are plenty
of areas of life where athleticism is not a prerequisite for success.
Yep, I can be perfectly satisfied with my life as I sit here, reflecting
about the TravisConnerAustinColins of my past, feeling my blood
pressure rise to triple digits as my mind broadcasts flashbacks
of my traumatic lifelong battle of desperate attempts to fit in
with the athletic crowd. See, what did I tell you?!? Perfectly satisfied!
that stuff is ancient history and, really, it's pretty damn trivial.
Truth is, it doesn't matter that I'm unbelievably terrible at sports.
And after a lifetime of obsessing over, and reliving those moments
from my childhood, I'm finally ready to let go of the Past and start
focusing on the Present. Like this stupid office kickball game.
And how I'm going to get out of it.
version for easy reading
material is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission|