The time, which is every time, I realized I’m not athletic.

My older brother Ryan once told me that I would “totally get first team all-conference for art” if it were a thing. That was near the end of my high school sports career. I never excelled in anything involving hand-eye coordination or endurance (aka: running in circles). Allow me to explain.

1993: Playing tag. I spruced up an innocent game by deciding to play with my eyes closed. That way I could run into the middle of a tree or moving bus. Luckily I chose the former. The bark imprints on my forehead made me look like an injured cartoon character that fell out of a backpack that fell out of a tree and then got ran over by the aforementioned bus.

1995: 2nd grade basketball. YMCA Wizards. During the time-out of our last game, Coach told everybody, “Whatever you do, pass the ball to Becky.” This is because Becky hadn’t made a basket all season. I did end up getting the ball; and I missed. My poor parents went to every game, bless their hearts.

1998: Swimming lessons. I was the oldest one in my class. And I failed. I actually failed swimming lessons.

2000: 7th grade track. While (illegally) passing another girl on the inside lane at a meet, I tripped over her foot. I dramatically fell and stayed on the ground three seconds too long, yet plenty long enough to get Starmont disqualified from the race.

2002: JV softball. (almost the best one). While not bad at second base (JV as an 8th grader just means we were short-staffed), I wasn’t exactly the stand out. I always flinched when digging grounders. I turned my face enough not to break my nose incase the ball hit an unexpected death trap in the sand. Coach had had enough of my pathetic invisible shield and one day at practice — at varsity practice — she ordered me to wear the catcher’s mask as she drilled me with grounder after grounder after grounder. If that summer was a movie, this part would be what we call foreshadowing. 

Later in 2001:  JV softball. (This is the best one). I was playing third base at a softball game in Springville. The runners were stealing, so Allie faked out the gal at 2nd and also faked me out. Throwing as hard as she could at not-ready-not-alert-Becky, she nailed me in the face. Allie throws hard. I dropped to my knees and writhed in pain. Yeah, I stopped a high school softball game. No big deal. Whatever! It’s still just me! I had the laces imprinted on my face as well as the pretty blue and purple hues you see on futuristic screen savers. Alas, I was glamorous!  Everyone called me Sloth for the next two weeks.

2004: High school competition cheerleading. Sometimes I got nervous and wobbly as the flyer. It was bad timing to be nervous and wobbly considering it was the homecoming pep rally (the one that the whole town attends). I fell from two stunts in one routine. In Twitterland, #winning and #FAIL would have both been appropriate.

Fear not, I do have some redeeming qualities. First, I played a really good game of bags at the Baylor vs. Iowa State football game last season. I made four in a row — knocking out one of the opponents to get us right at 21. Another example is when I worked at Cheesecake Factory and someone bumped into me when I was about to deliver a beached whale to one of my tables. I dove with the plate to save it from a sea of broken glass and shiny tile. People (me) are still talking about it five years later. But what about sports you can get scholarships in? Guess who had the highest serving percentage on the whole volleyball team senior year? Tiny but Mighty” Becky is who. They may have been soft and delicate, but they mostly went over the net most of the time. And they were always served with love.

All that to say… I’m engaged! And by engaged, I mean I’m running a [half] marathon in March. I never thought I would be able to make ma and pa so proud. Dad, because I am refining my can-do attitude, and ma, because I am finally drinking more water.

Drawing by Ana Benaroya.

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4 Comments

  1. Sarah
    Posted 01/17/2012 at 9:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    love your guts.

  2. Posted 01/17/2012 at 10:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Terrific arrangement of epic fails…Its like a beautiful bouquet of poo.

  3. Posted 01/25/2012 at 7:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Haha, I was the same with swimming lessons… oldest in my class by many years, and I was stuck in the same level for a long time (I REFUSED to put my head underwater for the longest time).

  4. Posted 01/27/2012 at 9:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Three thoughts: 1) So that’s why you won’t swim laps at Gold’s; 2) I’m disappointed that golf didn’t register on the list because I know you played HS golf, though it probably didn’t provide the kind of audience that would have resulted in the kind of spotlighted scenarios mentioned above; and 3) I’ve covered the live competition of 22 different sports in my career as a sportswriter and I have rarely seen anything as spectacular or instantly decisive as that round in that game of bags. Even though i was on the other team, I couldn’t be mad. I was just amazed.

One Trackback

  1. […] Last night my office softball team played its first game. Hole in the Roof (AKA Pitch Pleeze) played the Inglorious Batters. Of course we won. And by we, I mean they. I am equal parts flattered and surprised by how many times I’ve had to explain to my coworkers why I am not on the team. 8th grade > Softball to the face > Sloth jokes / generally scared of ball / generally unathlet… […]

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