Monday, February 17, 2014

Soccer Mom

Here is another post in my "rerun" series.  It was originally posted in 2009.

Today my girls had soccer practice. They're involved in a Parks and Rec team, a very low-key activity with the main goal being for the children to have fun. And really, that's about all I've seen so far.  I'm not seeing any learning of useful soccer skills, such as how to actually make your foot come into contact with the ball. But at least they're having fun, right?

Tonight, the soccer coach decided that at the end of practice, the children should play a scrimmage against their parents. In her words, she thought it would be "fun". Well I don't necessarily agree with her definition of fun, because in my estimation, it would be more in the category of torture. I hate playing sports. I guess it would be more accurate to say that I am deeply tormented by memories of any attempt at playing sports throughout my life. I had extremely bad experiences of gym class from the earliest elementary years all the way through 8th grade. You have no idea how heartily I rejoiced once I finished Junior High and I was no longer required to participate in Physical Education.

The year 1976 was an Olympic year, so our gym teacher thought it would be "educational" to set up gymnastics equipment. I really have no memory of any of the other equipment besides the rings. For some idiot reason, the rings were suspended about 20 feet off the ground. OK, so it was probably not quite that high, but I was in Kindergarten so I was only about 3 feet tall and everything looked really high to me. We had to climb up on a small platform to reach the rings. The platform was high enough to scare me, but then my teacher had to hoist me up on the rings and make me do a somersault. And I'm sure I was visibly terrified because I knew at any moment I was going to plummet back to earth with an ungraceful splat. However, the teacher made me do it anyway. You know I could probably go back and sue that gym teacher for all the emotional distress that he or she caused me, if I could remember his or her name.

In about 2nd grade, Ms. PE teacher had the brilliant idea to teach us basketball, and by teaching I mean she simply said "Play." So, I had no stinkin' clue how to actually dribble a ball or what responsibilities that players in different positions had. We just had to play, and it appeared to me that everyone else knew what they were doing except me. So, when we had basketball days in gym class, I would conveniently excuse myself to go to the bathroom until gym was over. I think my teacher eventually caught on, but it still never occurred to her to actually teach us some darn basketball skills.

In 5th grade, I tried to sprain my ankle during dogdeball season. I would run really fast down our gravel road and purposely step in the potholes. I used to deliberately irritate my older brother so he would inflict some kind of brotherly agony upon me, and then I would shout, "go for the ankle!" I once had to get a plantar wart removed, and I asked the doctor to write a note excusing me from PE for the rest of the year. He didn't. I even tried climbing up on our gigantic console TV set and jumping off. But it was all for naught, as I was still forced to participate in the misery of team sports.

Even in college, a friendly game of volleyball with my dearest friends would throw me into a panic. I could usually hit a volleyball with some degree of consistency as long as I was not involved in an actual game. But if the ball ever came to me during a game, I was either completely immobile, or I was flailing around like an injured animal. And then of course, I would say some dumb thing like "the sun was in my eyes," or sometimes I would choose the simpler option which was to feign death.

Suffice it to say, I have never had any desire to participate in team sports, even for "fun". Because although it may be "fun" to some people, I'd rather have one of my limbs severed.


  1. Ooooh! I now have put, "Play soccer with Jen" on my bucket list. I might allow you to switch to some other sport maybe hockey or rock/ice climbing. I think you just didn't have the right coach,teammate,or experience yet. -Coach Eric :)

    1. LOL, Eric. It will be a cold day in hell. Well, I might actually enjoy running, but as you may notice from my next post, it actually gave me pneumonia. Sports and I are not on good terms!


If you leave a comment, you will make me the happiest blogger in blogdom!