Sports have always been a quandary to me. Not in the typical "I'm an actor, ya'all. I don't do sports because it's lame and I like to wear black and I like to sit in dark theaters while those stupid popular kids go out and watch that sports thingy that I don't care to understand because I'm an actor and I'm not dumb and I take myself way to seriously to ever do something like that. Ugh. Hand me my dance belt...I have some work to do" sort of way. No, not in that way at all.
In fact, I dipped my toe in the sports world many times throughout my youth. For many years I was an enthusiastic member of many different swim teams around town. I played soccer for a season or two. I was a vertically-challenged member of my volleyball team. I tried swimming again. I never went back to soccer. The problem? I am not a very competitive person. NOT AT ALL. This is evident in my personal "trophy case". My athletic endeavours have led me to such honors like "Most likely to be laughing at the end of the pool" and "Best jokes at snack time" and oodles and oodles of 3rd and 4th ribbons. I can't say it was lack of motivation because I tried really hard.
I had fond memories of each sport. Soccer was a joy. I played for our local rec center, and each time the team superstar/bully would make a goal, as we ran down the field in victory, Queen's "We are the Champions" playing in our little ears, she would come over, punch me in the arm and say "YOU COULD LEARN FROM THAT!" Yes, yes, yes, soccer was a joy. Volleyball was very close to my heart. In an effort to be innovative one summer at a volleyball intensive camp, I developed what I coined as "the CLAM METHOD". The "Clam Method" was nothing more than setting the ball up, but what made my method different? Each time the ball hit your hands you squeeked "clams!". The "CM" didn't help me when I continually got hit in the head with the ball, but it brought joy to me.
Finally...swimming. I still enjoy swimming, but have opted out of the competitive doggy paddle in my adult years. As a child I cherished my time in the water. I specialized in the backstroke and soared down the lane like a relaxed otter on a warm summer day. Floating gently on my back, staring wistfully up at the big blue Minnesota sky, not a care in the world, not even the fact that I was in the midst of a race. The sides of the pool packed with screaming fans, screaming at me "KICK YOUR FEET!! STOP FLOATING!! All you're doing is floating down the lane!!"..That didn't bother me. I was happy with my 4th place ribbons, they were yellow and that was a lot sassier than blue.
You see, I was in the sports for the funsies, not the glory. I laughed a lot, I learned a lot, and I had fun. Yes, it may be too Barney for you, but I did it for fun. In my adulthood I find myself in workin' on my fitness at the gym that houses the pool I spent so much time in as a child. While stretchin' out my business today at the gym, I noticed the man next to me doing the same stretch and staring at me. It was puzzling, especially puzzling when he was attempting to stretch further and harder than me. What was he doing? He was behaving like a monkey in heat. What he was doing was what I can only assume was the gym equivalent of competitiveness. I laughed in his face. It was ridiculous. I wasn't there to be a better stretcher than him..he was dumb. Clearly.
As I finish this entry, the Vikes have just gone into overtime...in this case, this is not fun...this is business..Kick some ass, boys!