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Any game that involved hand-eye coordination was a pretty legitimate fear for me beginning in primary school and honestly continuing until now. Any game that involved a ball was and is equally off the table. I’m just not all that good at any of that stuff.

This isn’t because I didn’t want to be. I once spent most of a fall practicing my free shot for basketball, to the point where I was actually pretty good. This, of course, was the only thing in basketball I was any good at. Layups? Defense? There were attempts made, but they were fruitless and frankly embarrassing. Everyone at my school played soccer, so I thought I could try that. Do you know that it is, in fact, possible to actually just straight up miss the ball when you’re going to kick it? Did you know you can do that, not on purpose, several times in a row? Well, let me tell you—you can. And I have. I was also hit in the face a lot by both basketballs and soccer balls. Once teachers figured out I couldn’t actually shoot for anything, they’d try to put me in the goal. Inevitably, the ball would hit me right in the face, knock off my dorky-looking glasses, and STILL MANAGE TO GO IN. How?! To this day I am still very confused as to how I manage to be so delightfully terrible at these kinds of sports. Soccer and basketball are just examples—have me try tennis, or lacrosse, or any sport that involves a ball, and you will quickly be shown just how terrible at these I am.

This really wasn’t from lack of athleticism though, which is what is most frustrating. I have fairly decent endurance, I am strong, and I make up for what I lack with sheer stubbornness. Where I lack in skills on the sports stated above, I more than make up for it elsewhere—I’m a great hiker, kayaker, and canoer. For the fairly low amount of skiing I do, my skill there is pretty high. I’m also a good rock climber. Those were the things I spent my time doing, But, everything I was good at didn’t qualify as a sport, and thus I was given the badge of “not-sporty” I hate that badge. It makes me feel small and incapable. It’s as though there was this skill we were all supposed to have and I just didn’t get it. Everyone got to be in teams, and do their fun sport together, and I just sat on the sidelines. I still do. I’m jealous of sporty people, of people on teams. These sports, these games you get to play ARE fun (if you don’t suck that is). You get to be on a team, belong to a group where you work together towards the same goal. Who cares what the existential meaning of getting a ball in a net really is? The pleasure is from the tactics, the camaraderie, and athleticism. Games are freaking fun, that’s why we play them.

I wish I was sporty. You guys really look like you’re having fun.

Image Credit: Feature,1,2


Gabrielle is a hyperactive philosophy student at Kenyon College. She likes to get overly passionate about all things and apologizes if she's shouted at you. Especially if it was in french.
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