Thursday, 26 March 2009

The best thing about being a grown-up

... besides getting to eat chips whenever you like, is that no one can make you play sports.

I hated PE so much at school. I mean hated it. I was AWFUL. I was always the girl who waited outside the teacher's office complaining of a headache/pulled muscle/period pain. In fact, if I remember correctly I had 'period pains' for four solid weeks in year 9.

Now I don't mind physical activity at all, I was fine at aerobics and my PE teacher remarked on a skiing trip (with incredulous surprise in her voice) that I 'wasn't bad at all. But anything outside or team sports I HATED and whats more completely SUCKED at. If there was any other option I would take it and if I had to actually participate then I would lag behind when we played netball or hockey or whatever the wretched game was. If I ever happened to get my hands on the ball (which was an accident, I assure you - no one in their right mind would pass it to me), I would freeze up in terror and pass it off to someone else the second I could.

I developed several surefire ways of ensuring that I would have as little contact with the ball as possible. Firstly I would make sure I was on Annabel's team. Annabel was the best at sport in my year and therefore, if I was on her team and played in a defense position, the chances of me actually moving was small. Secondly, as we had a big year, I would volunteer the most for subs. I could deal with playing for 10 minutes if it meant I could sit off for the next 20. Thirdly I would offer to help the teacher referee. Yes I was a suck up I know.

When applied effectively it meant that in an average lesson I had zero time with the ball.

The thing that excited me most about finishing school was the sure knowledge that I would never, ever have to play a sport again. No one could make me. Even now, just thinking about my liberation from sports (almost seven years ago) makes me smile.

Being with S who is sporty and footbally and LOVED sport at school, hell he went to college to study it, I have struggled to explain to him my detest of all things that make me sweaty.

Once, after S and I had been together about a year, we were going to play a game of rounders with some friends, he assured me that I would be fine, that it wasn't like games at school, that no-one would laugh at my ineptness. The time came and, full of nerves, we played. And I sucked. As a fielder I didn't touch the ball (thank you guys). As a batter I missed every single ball and then got stumped at first.

Later that night, as I got ridiculously drunk to cover up my humiliation and prove that hey, I may suck at sport but I can drink you guys under the table, S assured me that he'd never make me play a sport again.

Less comforting was his muttered, "Thank goodness our kids will have some of my genes too."

I HEARD THAT. But really, thank goodness.

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