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Put Me in Coach

As I type this I'm sitting on a plane watching the Olympics.

Tennis.  Men's singles.  Nadal vs Del Potro. Nadal is winning. Maybe.  More on that later...

I think the Rio Olympics are coming at an interesting time.  Right now, we really need something to unite us as Americans -- to forget our differences, cheer for Team USA athletes (and their moms), and avoid mosquitos carrying the Zika virus.

Now, I don't consider myself a particularly sporty person. (What?!?  It's true. I don't like to sweat.)  But a little known fact about me: I've actually played FIVE legit sports in my life.

And no, I do not count competitive TV watching among them.

It all started with GYMNASTICS in the 3rd grade. That was very shortlived.  I loved the bodysuits and pigtails.  Who wouldn't? But gravity is a tough opponent. No matter what they tried, nobody could teach me to do a cartwheel, much less a back handspring.

I was more or a summersault kind of gal.  I don't think they give medals for that.

Then came SOFTBALL.  I was in the 4th grade and we just moved to good old Pine Brook.  My mom signed me up at the community center and my dad volunteered to be the coach.  I have no idea how he did it, being that he worked in NYC and all our games started at 4pm.  But that 100% explains how I played 2nd base for 4 years.

Yep.  Jackie Robinson.  Willie Randolph. And me.

This pic here shows our amazing uniform. We were nicknamed the Golddiggers, but not in a Kanye way.  More like we missed every ball that came our way.  My dad assumed it was because we were busy digging for gold in the outfield.

Once I realized I was wasn't turning pro, I switched gears to TENNIS.  My childhood best friend and I took lessons the summer after Freshman and Sophomore years  at a local country club where her family belonged. I'm pretty sure it was the basis for Red Oaks.  I remember everything about it -- my Tretorns, my brown Wilson racquet with the rainbow grip, my vast collection of Polo shirts.  What I do NOT remember is how to keep score.  Which is why I'm lost watching the Olympics right now.

Truth is, I was distracted by 2 boys -- brothers -- who we had crushes on.  I couldn't serve to save my life, but I had a decent backhand.  At least that's what our (paid) instructor told me.

Next up was FIELD HOCKEY.  I played an entire summer clinic before Junior year started. In the boiling heat.  I remember the skill drills, and the Indian sprints (though I'm guessing they're called something different now).  This was actually a sport I was good at!  Hockey spoke to my competitive nature.  Plus the uniforms were adorbs.  Two words: Plaid skirts.

I played a position called sweeper.  I even made the team! But it wasn't meant to be.  My hand got smashed between some sticks one day in early September during a scrimmage while we were fighting for the ball and I got nervous I would never have a career as an artist.  Ha.

So I quit.  But luckily, I still retained the benefit of never having to participate in gym class again for the remainder of my time as a Montville Mustang.

I laid low on the athletic scene until Sophomore year in college when I decided to try CHEERLEADING.  Think that's not a sport?  Watch Bring it On and get back to me. (Of course, I can't do any of those tricks, but I'm peppy. And strong!)

My roommate and I made a deal, I wanted to go out for the radio station and she wanted cheering, so we did both.  She was a Mighty Hornet cheerleader from a neighboring high school, and I was a cheerleader for the Montville Broncos in the 5th grade (see evidence above).  I would draw from that formative experience.

So, we tried out and made the team!  Cheerleaders for women's basketball... talk about depressing.  But very early in the season we got a lucky break.

The hot, pyramid-making, toss-them-in-the-air tiny cheerleaders for the men's basketball team did something to piss the athletic dept off and they kicked them all off the squad.  This left a glorioius opening for us to cheer for -- and travel with -- the men's basketball team.


We partied with our mascot, The Stag (now lamely called Lucas).  We even cheered on the floor of Madison Square Garden!  That was fun.

I'm pretty sure I wasn't very good at this either, which is why I did it for only 1 year and did the radio station for 3.  But I did like the white uniforms.

I sense a trend here...

So, what have we learned?  Rallying together behind America -- good.  Zika virus -- bad.  Sports and me -- not a winning combination.

But at least I looked cute doing them.

So, were YOU an all-star athlete?  A benchwarmer?  A facepainter?  Share your stats below...

tags: jersey, sports

1 comment:

chris said...

also happy belated bday :)