January 31, 2023
Today’s prompt is about sports.
I used to be involved in sports from about the age of 11 until the age of 20.
I was not that great but never gave up trying.
As a young girl, I was considered a “Tomboy” and would play basketball, flag football, and baseball with the boys in my school. The playing field was only time I was considered equal and not an outcast.
In the 6th grade, I was only 1 of 3 girls that played on a local little league baseball team. I was terrible but I enjoyed playing. That all ended after puberty started, then I felt too awkward. I also quit playing flag football.
Despite only being about 5 foot 3 at that time, I continued to play basketball on and off until my 20’s. I tried out for my high school basketball team but was told by the coach “I think you need to try something else, these girls are a lot more aggressive, I am afraid you’ll get hurt.”
It was true. I only played basketball randomly in intramural sports. The girls I tried out with had been playing since the 5th grade and they were way more tougher than I was. I played for fun they played to win.
I also tried out for our girls volleyball team and I ended up with nothing but bruises for a week. It was a disastrous attempt but I gave it a try. I had a friend that came to watch me tryout, she thought it was hilarious. She said I was terrible, I agreed. I could not dive to hit the ball to save my life. I was not afraid make the attempt though.
Then when I went into the military, I actually grew another 3 more inches during basic training. I played on an a co-ed intramural basketball league at my first duty base. I was only one of three women in my unit and the other two did not play sports. I liked basketball and joined our team.
We did pretty well and made it to the playoff games, we were in either in 4th or 5th place, I do not really remember. The only thing I do remember is when one of our best players went up to block a shot, fell down and his leg went a different way than expected. I can still remember the sound it made. He had broken his kneecap during that game and that was the end of his basketball playing days. I never went back to playing after that and had lost interest.
The only time I ever watched sports after that was during our states college rivalry football games. I do not watch much anymore, it has been several years.
My little family was not much into sports except my oldest daughter playing recreational league soccer for several years. It was always fun to watch her. She’s little in stature but fast and quick on her feet. She was always pumped up and aggressive during the games. She was very good and always targeted by the other teams. I used to get so upset when a bigger girl would try to take her out on the field but she never let it faze her, it only made her more determined.
I used to envy those sports families. The ones that had athletes in their families and they went to all the games. Sometimes, I wondered if I should have pushed my kids more in that area. The main focus we pushed was getting an education and progressing that way.
I realized, later on, that they found what they liked. My daughters have started running in 10ks and half marathons, my oldest son is into yoga and running. My youngest son was never interested in sports, he is my artistic one, but he sometimes talks about trying new things like lifting weights. I have tried to encourage swimming, he was always a natural at it as a kid.
I have always believed every kid should be given the opportunity to at least try a sport. If it sticks then it sticks, if doesn’t at least they tried. They attempted something out of their comfort zone. It is something that should be encouraged.
Today, I occasionally like to watch golf, catch a football game on TV, or if it is some big championship game, it does not matter the sport. It is just interesting to watch.
I still envy those that have dedicated their livelihood to continuing to play the game.