My mom was never a soccer mom—both literally and figuratively. She did drive a mini van for much of my childhood. Neither my sister nor I played soccer. I do remember the first time I played soccer in elementary school PE. I was talk and lanky for most of my childhood, so the PE coach thought I would make an excellent goalie. Ten minutes later, I had a bloody nose because I tried to stop the ball with my face. It worked, but it has a one-time use policy. My sister played what ever you call girls’ softball. (I know it’s not little league.) I never played any sort of sport. I’m not really sure why. I guess I never asked. My parents never encouraged me to pursue any. I did tae kwon do for about a year until my yellow belt was stolen out of my bag. Everyone thought I lost it, but we still haven’t found it two decades later, so I was right.
As a result of having never having any sport training, I pretty much suck at every one of them. Once I was older and wanted to, I was already too far behind. My dad wasn’t sporty either, so I never learned. In high school, I stunted with the cheerleaders. None of us guys had done it before, so we were on a level playing field. Despite some deficit in the art of being coordinated, I did pretty well.
As I’ve discussed previously, I’m a big hockey fan. I started playing hockey back in Texas because no one from Texas really grows up playing hockey. I wasn’t expected to know how already. It was great. Now that I’m in seminary, I’m immersed in the world of intramurals again. Wanting to have no regrets, I signed up for flag football. It’s a lot easier when you’re playing with friends. They’re gracious with patience for my lack of skill. I’m getting better. I feel like a doofus most of the time, but it’s still fun. I bought my first baseball (actually I think it’s for softball) glove yesterday. I bought my first pair of cleats back in September. It’s weird to be doing all of these sporting firsts at the age of twenty six. I may be a late bloomer, but eventually I catch up.