Sports have never been my forte, not even a little bit, though I tried, believe me. When I was younger, we had videogames that could keep us indoors all day, which I preferred, but there were still some kids, friends of mine, that preferred playing outside – those freaks. As I got older, the value of being outside became immeasurable, but the “playing” aspect has only grown more foreign to me. I don’t sport, I don’t want to, and I can say with a degree of certainty that I never will.

            When I was a kid, I tried sports, most of them I think. I was on a tee-ball team, but I was the weak link. You might ask how one establishes themselves as the weak link in a sport where the ball remains stationary during batting and on a team sponsored by meat. That last part is true, to my recollection, the team was sponsored by a local daily – not big meat, but local meat. I would swing and hit the tee, or hit the end of the tee and the bottom-most portion of the ball, causing it to go off in some unusual direction of no particular help to the team. That sums up my sports experience best: missing a stationary ball.

            I knew right away that I didn’t like sports. My coordination just wasn’t up to par in that respect. Now, I became a musician, so obviously I have some coordination, but in all honesty, if a person were to throw me a ball, my reaction is panic. I flinch, dodge, or fumble to catch it comically. I would prefer to never have to catch anything ever again, that’s the truth.

            Because there were only so many things available for a young boy to do, I tried other sports. Defying all logic, I moved onto baseball. Evidently, my not being able to hit a stationary ball carried over, only I was now failing to hit a ball in motion. I was even worse at baseball, as you could imagine. Perhaps that was the team with the meat-sponsorship. It’s unimportant, it’s just icing on the cake that the team I failed spectacularly on was also in the pocket of local meat.

            I don’t believe I joined any other teams. After a while, I think my family gave up on my sportsmanship. I was a funny, smart kid, but there was no room for sports in there, I was busy doing magic shows and other cool kid stuff. The rest of my sporting experience took place in gym class, which I’ve never liked. I was always bad at sports, and I certainly didn’t practice to get better, so gym was always contentious. 

One of my gym teachers was actually quite mean, she always made fun of me for my lack of ability. In fact, one day after a particularly abysmal display on the volleyball court, my gym teacher said something along the lines of, “try harder next time, Goodlof,” and I blew a fuse. I went back to the locker room and began punching my locker repeatedly, bloodying my hand. I couldn’t believe how mad I was. Couldn’t she see that I was sweating my ass off just to play this poorly? Eventually, the male gym teacher, whose escapades will be the subject of a later story, came and stopped me. He didn’t like the female gym teacher either, thought she was mean – which she was.

            In high school I almost joined the bowling team until I found out that they practiced. Plus, I’m a notoriously terrible bowler. I once bowled a six … a six. But, I came to peace with all this long ago. I knew that sports and similar activities simply didn’t matter to me. And now, when an event arises where people are inspired to go have a catch, I sit out. I don’t even want to try, it won’t make me happy. I’d rather sit and look good while people play. People get way too emotionally involved in sports, and I don’t want to spare the brain space for that. It was a relief once I finally allowed myself to accept that sports would never be a part of my life, and I’m happier for it. 

            And, I still won’t catch anything you throw me, so please don’t.

Published by Christopher Goodlof

Writer, Visual Artist, Musician

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