Sports-4 Emily-0

I'm going to tell you a secret.

I'm not very good at sports.

Hard to believe, right? I know you're all thinking "How can that be? She moves with the grace of a gymnast! She looks like she runs 10 miles every day!"

That is not the case. What follows is a collection of some of my more finer moments in sports. All for your reading enjoyment. How'd you get so lucky?

My parents, like any good parents, enrolled me in softball when I was a wee one. I don't know if I actually enjoyed it so much as I just really liked getting a cool tshirt. And I didn't completely suck; I could definitely keep my eye on the ball and hit it almost every time it was pitched to me. The problem came when my team was in the field. Most often I was either left or right field, so that whoever played center could make up for me. I don't know what it was about being out there. Maybe it was the blazing sun. Maybe it was my active imagination. But whenever a ball was hit my way (and it always happened at least once a game), I panicked. I knew what I was supposed to do, and I actually had a pretty decent arm. But my brain never really put the connection 'catch ball, throw in-field' together. My last year in softball is a great example. I was on a team with some lame name like the Falcons or the Cardinals (why couldn't we be called the Funky Monkeys? Or the Razzin' Dazzlers? Our shirts could have had sequins and everything!) And, of course, three boys from my class were on the team with me. All I really remember is that the ball came to me in right field. I scooped it up, went to throw it, and it wasn't there. Yep. When I reared back to throw, I just let go. And those three boys? NEVER let it go.

And that was the end of my softball days. Until The Pro forced me to play some 10 years later when his company softball team needed girls in order not to forfeit.

A quick break in the story: my junior year of high school, I had knee surgery to cut some tendon that was essentially pulling my knee-cap higher than normal, allowing my joint to basically fall out at certain moments. Not so fun. After that surgery, I had to re-learn how to run. And I don't think I learned right. Because I CANNOT RUN. At all. Even though I might think I'm moving, it soon becomes obvious just how slowly I'm moving as my 7-year old cousin passes me by.

So yeah, softball and I don't really get along. Due to the whole running thing. The Pro decides that I'm going to be the catcher. Great plan. Did I mention that when I bend my knees for long periods of time (read: 30 seconds or so) they lock up? So kneeling and getting up every minute did not help the situation. And when I had to run to first base (because of course I hit the ball! I always do)? Even slower than normal, which is really. damn. slow. Needless to say, I haven't played much softball lately.

The knee problems really started back in junior high when I thought that running track might be a good thing for me. And since I hadn't had surgery yet, I really wasn't too slow. I even won a race or two (we're talking local meets, of course. Me, make it to districts? Nope. Not even close.) One of the things I'd always wanted to try though, was the hurdles. And so one rainy day, as I was talking to my friend Tara, I noticed that they had the practice hurdles out on the field. When I say practice hurdles, I'm probably talking about the ones they use for the 6th graders when they have their annual track meet. Standing maybe 2 and 1/2 feet high, made out of foam practice hurdles. I set two up in a row, stretch out a little bit, and start sprinting towards them (yes, moseying is probably a more suitable word, but it doesn't sound as exciting!). I leap off the ground, force my legs into the 'hurdlers position', catch my back leg on the actual hurdle, and face plant into the ground. Pure awesomness.

My last real foray in the world of high school sports was making the 9th grade cheerleading squad. Shocking, I know. Don't worry-I broke my arm the first month of summer practice. And those back handspring things? Totally overrated. The cartwheel and the sommersault are where it's really at.

Since then, I've kept to where I rightfully belong. In the stands, watching people with some natural talent. Every now and then, The Pro and QS will make me play volley-ball. Until they see just how uncoordinated I am, and then they are more than happy to let me off the hook.

There is one sport that I kick ass at. Swimming. Perhaps I shall tell the tale of 'The Swim Around the Buoy' next time...

Stay tuned. It's a classic.