Spitty I am no sportsman

7 Nov

I have been bad at all sports since I can ever remember.

Yes, I am that kid that was always picked last for any sports team in school. I was the kid who dreaded Tuesdays as that was PE day in school and I often begged my parents for a note saying I was exempt. Tuesdays also meant spending 30 minutes in the school grounds trying to follow complicated instructions and rules about some organized sport like Basket ball, Volley ball or Throw ball (I can’t make up my mind which is worse) and then putting all these instructions into action for the next 15 minutes. With bad hand-eye coordination, especially small hands, little to zero upper body strength this wasn’t my finest 45 minutes.

Sometimes we were allowed to play whatever we liked, which ended up being team games like Kho Kho, Lagori (does anyone remember this game of knocking over 7 stones with a hard ball?), Dog and the Bone, Gallery – All games where I was picked last. My reputation of being the weakest link in a team followed me thru school though I tried in vain to dodge this title at the start of every academic year.

The non- team games were even worse . One particularly hateful game was ‘Biscuit’…have you ever played it? If not, let me tell you a little bit about this. When it’s your den , you run around trying to catch someone and just when they are at arm’s reach, the person you are trying to catch yells out the name of another person prefixed by the work Biscuit –“Biscuit so-and-so” and you need to now change course and run behind the new victim who in turn will yell out another name. I have cried buckets during and after this game thru the years as it invariably was my turn to do the catching.

As I went into high school. Tuesdays soon meant leading your house to the exercise drill as a prefect in assembly. I have never felt more conscious and on display in my life. I still remember exercise # 6 being especially bad – touching your toes. I cannot for the life of me touch me toes…I do not remember ever having been able to either. I remember coming home from 1st grade and telling my mom I was the only kid in class who couldn’t do it. Mom in her usual
reassuring way told me lovingly I just had really long legs, so I went thru life least worried about my ability to carry out this toe touching feat – I was
the long legged lass you see. Till I reached high school and realized my legs were in no way in competition with the resident aspiring model and even she
could touch her toes with ease!

Engineering College sports days also deem mentions. When you are in a department where the girls to boys ratio is 1:6 and you have to compete with departments where this ratio is almost 4:6, you learn quick that there is no escaping participation in department sports.The weeks prior to sporting events were spent dodging desperate requests from senior girls in the department to form a team.

So I was thrown into every sport imaginable – Box cricket, basket ball, throw ball, table tennis, badminton… Needless to say the teams usually comprised of maybe 2 enthusiastic athletic large strapping seniors and the rest others like me.

This situation versus other departments endowed with a healthier female population holding competitive team selection matches. Anyway, it soon become apparent to other departments that a game against us was a sure chance at victory and we were never even worthy of their best players. (Those were saved for the quarter final stages and beyond – a stage we never reached in the 4 years I was there)

The worst part was each of our matches came with a huge audience, in the middle of the quad or bang in the middle of the boys hostel grounds with throngs of boys there to watch our abject humiliation. To be fair there were most likely there to see our competitors from the more glamorous branches of engineering – the “we-don’t-enter-the- workshop-beyond- first- year type” and “Foundry- what is that” type.

Anyway, post college I have neatly been able to escape sports for the last 5 years quite successfully.

I did join a gym to shed a few pre and post marriage bliss pounds and attended the group exercise classes religiously for a few years – kick boxing, spinning, pilates. In each of these, I took an inconspicuous spot at the very back of the class and gave a silent shudder when the instructor moved around correcting stances. Needless to say, the pause by me was exceptionally longer than near others.


Anyway, a few weeks ago the husbadoo, and I embarked upon a sporting journey together – Tennis classes. To preface, let me just say I am married to a star athlete in my eyes – name it and the husbadoo plays it: Basketball, Cricket, Swimming,Soccer. The few sports he doesn’t play, he follows with keen interest.

Tennis is a sport I have always visualized myself playing ,tearing around the court in a cute little skirt and building freaking awesomely toned arms  and calves to boot – who in their right mind wouldn’t want that for themselves!!

So we find ourselves enrolled in the local recreational center for 4 classes over the next month. The first class was a bit of a disappointment.  I definitely am not at the build- awesomely- toned- arms-with- a –swoosh- of- my- racquet stage yet. I am strictly at the try- to- connect- racquet-and- ball- and –get- the-damn- ball-across-the- net stage.

But I am persevering. Life might make an athlete of me yet! Stay tuned , more Tennis tales will follow.


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