In Year 8 at school athletics – I was the “fastest girl in Blue House”. Then we had the 100m competition and i ran reeeeeallly reeeeaaaaallly fast. And came last. Conclusion? I am not a natural born runner.
In Year 9 at school – I played Wing Defence on the netball team. Or at least I did the one time i got picked to play on the team, for the five minutes it took for them to rotate me off the field. Every other time, I sat and read a book instead. Conclusion? I am not a netball player.
In Year 10 at school – I was sent to field for the softball team. I stood as far out as possible because i was terrified of the ball hitting me on the head. The one time the ball actually got hit my way, I caught it – and dropped it because it hurt. They never made the mistake of sending me to field again. Conclusion? I am not a softball player.
In Year 9 at school – I cut my losses. Every P.E period i would skip class and go to the library instead to read. And study. Because as i disdainfully sniffed…I was an ‘intellectual’. (translation: nerd.)
When we moved to America in 12th grade, I thought maybe here was my chance to reinvent myself. I joined the soccer team. And in an incredibly brave and courageous move – i nominated myself for goalie. Why? Because i was scared of the ball hitting me in the face. AND because running up and down the field made me tired so the idea of standing in the goal was pretty tempting. Our first game, I did this amazing, death-defying leap and saved the ball. Then tripped over and fell. Right into my own goal. Score for the opposing team. Conclusion? I am not a soccer player.
Last week i went to watch my son run at his school atheltics meet. He won the 1500m. I was ecstatic. He won the 400m. I was delirious. He placed second in the 800m. I was jubilant ( and plotted ways to eliminate the poor runner who came first) His team came second in the 4x400m. I was screaming so loud that the Principal almost had to get security to escort me from the stadium. Conclusion? My son…that i gave birth to and contributed valuable DNA to, that I fed, and cleaned up after, and encouraged ( okay so there was lots of nagging and harassing in there too) IS a runner. An honest-to-goodness athlete. It was one of the best days of my life. So what if I stank at school sports? And people stil remember the goalie who fell into the goal? My son Jade is an O for owesome athlete! Final conclusion? Thank goodness that opposites attract. Thank goodness that Jades father also contributed valuable DNA to this child. (okay…and maybe the father also did some of the feeding and cleaning and encouraging and naggging too…just a teensie weensie bit) And maybe, just maybe, all that running really fast in Blue House and hiding from the softball and diving to miss the soccer ball – maybe, just maybe – all of that contributed in some existentially mysterious way to Jade being well on his way to athletic glory?