So….this happened. Yesterday I played my first team sport in more than 20 years. The last time I took part in any sort of team sport was softball, age 13. My dad signed me up. I hated every minute of it and ended the season with the final strike-out of the final game (which my team lost).
Other significant sports-related memories in my life are:
- in Grade 7 I made the soccer team! (because they didn’t cut anyone who tried out)
- in Grade 5-6 I swam competitively, coming in dead last in every race ever except one. On that one occasion, I came first in my heat in the 50m breaststroke (in the only meet I can remember where they only awarded ribbons to the overall winners)
- when I was 7, I got a BRONZE MEDAL in a ski race! (I “tied” for third. Out of four.)
My distaste for sports as a kid most likely stems from a combination of a complete absence of skills and utter lack of interest in winning. Probably out of self-preservation – any team with me on it can’t possibly win, but that’s okay, because I DON’T CARE ANYWAY.
My lack of skills is directly related to my negative coordination. Yes, that’s a thing. Let me explain: Remember negative numbers? You have integers – 1, 2, 3 – you have zero – and then you have negative numbers – -1, -2, -3.
On a number line, they look like this:
If you add them together, they cancel each other out: -3 + 3 = 0.
This same concept can be applied to coordination:
So if you put someone with zero coordination on a field with a bunch of players with good coordination, you’re still in good shape. Put me and my high-order negative coordination out there, and I’ll cancel them all out. It’s not a good scene.
Zumba? Let’s not even go there. Just imagine a room full of lithe, graceful dominoes and a giant super-bounce ball.
But I did it. I signed up for Soccer Momz, and I played my first game last night. Ben gave me some advice before I left – he said, “Just go and have fun, mommy. I didn’t know if I would like soccer, but I had a good attitude and I had fun.” (Hmm…I wonder where he picked that up.)
Here is what I learned:
- I shouldn’t rely on Ian to tell me what time the game starts.
- If knee high boots won’t fit over my calves, I shouldn’t expect shin pads to either.
- It’s easier to run for 90 minutes when there are other people doing it too.
- My speed has improved from what I remember.
- My coordination has not.
- But it was fun anyway.
- Moms are seriously hardcore.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to practice actually connecting my foot with the ball. And Ben has promised to teach me to drop-kick.