March 12, 2012

Jock (Or, How I Got My Ass Handed To Me By A Six Year Old)

I have an athletically checkered past. I started playing tennis in elementary school and continued through college. I ran cross country (and hated it) in high school and also ran track (shorter distances rocked). I also bowled in a Saturday morning league all through high school. (Admittedly I did this because it was the one sport I could smoke during.) Beth was never all that involved in school athletics. She can run, though, and is in better shape than I am. And she doesn't throw like a girl. Still we wouldn't make one good jock if you combined us.

Amazingly, though, Mia's turning out to be one.

Mia was the star of her coach-pitch baseball team last spring. She's an amazing swimmer, taking of the butterfly at age five. I took her to the neighborhood tennis courts earlier in the week and she proceeded to amaze me by returning the balls I threw her way. Yesterday the four of us went bowling. And Mia beat me. Sure, I hadn't bowled in a long time and for some reason I couldn't find my bowling mojo. And, yes, in the very last frame when we were separated by two points, I might - just might - have been a little more, uh, inaccurate than normal. But still, she beat me. I was a little slice of amazing.

Were you a jock?

Posted by Chris at March 12, 2012 7:54 AM

Fuck. no.

Posted by: alektra at March 12, 2012 8:20 AM

I was whatever is the opposite of a jock. I tried to do sports in junior high, but quickly realized it wasn't for me, and settled into a comfy corner with a book.

My husband, on the other hand, is pretty athletic, and our oldest seems to have taken after him. I'm happy for her, but also happy that our youngest is starting to take after me. The running into walls was the first sign (I do it all the time).

Posted by: Jessie at March 12, 2012 8:44 AM

I wasn't so much in middle school, was the marching band geek/book club type. Then come high school did it mainly for the EC's for college applications, ha, but after doing track, cross country, and swimming, learned I really loved to run. Now it's what I enjoy doing when I need to clear my head and just relax.

Posted by: Heather at March 12, 2012 9:20 AM

The term, "jock" stirs up odd emotions because I think you had to be one of the popular kids AND athletic to be considered a jock in my school. I was a very good baseball player, a pretty good football player, and am currently a darn good hockey player. So yes, I'm athletic, but I'm not a jock.

Posted by: Brad at March 12, 2012 9:21 AM

God no. The only time I ran was if I was being chased. I was pretty good at tennis though.

Posted by: J at March 12, 2012 10:00 AM

My husband and I are both very athletic. We wonder all the time how we managed to produce our oldest daughter who hates all sports. Guess you never know!

Posted by: JJ at March 12, 2012 10:05 AM

I desperately wanted to be a jock. I played baseball through age 14, played basketball and softball in high school (overseas - no baseball team), and played inter-mural everything in college.

However, if I'm being honest, I put a ridiculous amount of time into sports and was never better than average at anything. I liked (still do actually) playing, but I never really worked hard enough at anything to be awesome at it.

My wife was a nationally ranked baton twirler in high school, which isn't a sport.

My son is a nationally rated fencer, and my daughter is a damn fine equestrian, a national champion at horse judging, and a state champion at every academic equine related event that exists. Clearly the drive and ambition to work hard to be really good at something is coming from my wife's DNA. I never had it.

Posted by: COD at March 12, 2012 10:16 AM

Coming from a tiny town where the only sports involved running or throwing/catching/hitting balls, I was definitely NOT a jock because of bad knees and apparently a fear of flying objects. However, I think I would have been a great swimmer if there had been an opportunity.

Then when I turned 26 I moved to Ohio and discovered the sport of rowing and was a band nerd no more. I did a lot of racing and even did some high school coaching, which really surprised me - I was a jock!

These days I don't do as much rowing and don't call myself a jock at all, but I have signed up to do my second triathlon this summer, so yeah, I guess I've been able to shed that band nerd image after all.

Posted by: Heather at March 12, 2012 10:32 AM

I will have you know that I lettered in both Drama AND Chorus in high school. So there.

Posted by: Mrs. Cactus at March 12, 2012 2:02 PM

i wish i had actually been good at anything! i was the worst middle school B Team basketballer you've thankfully never seen, i was a horrible cross country runner in high school. i put in a damn good effort at surfing and rock climbing and snowboarding in college but was never great at anything. now every once in a while i spend a few brain cells thinking about getting back into yoga but that's about it. hopefully my kids got the genes i didn't :)

Posted by: kati at March 12, 2012 2:36 PM

I played soccer from elementary school through high school. After that I switched to rugby while I was in the Marines and later played while I was at college. Now I content myself with riding my bike and, if I ever get around to the shoe store, maybe, maybe taking up jogging again.

Posted by: Foggy Dew at March 12, 2012 4:44 PM

Hell no. I was the kid - you know, THAT kid - that the team captains fought to NOT have in their team. In Britain, there is sport We also - in the middle/high school I went to - had to wear a ridiculous sports uniform of teeny-tiny skirt (think ice-skating style), polo shirt and sweat shirt, whatever the weather (and believe me, it gets COLD in winter). I was hopeless at every sport activity we did: tennis, squash, athletics, rounders (a sissy's version of baseball), netball (kind of like basketball), lacrosse, gymnastics... The only thing I did with any skill was pitching in rounders, but that can only get you so far.
As soon as I left high school, I vowed to never do sport again. And I've stuck to it! Yeah me! That said, I walk everywhere and don't consider myself to be in bad shape, but no sport for me, ever again!
Of my daughters, my elder girl (10) is lithe and a gifted trapeze artist (she attends circus school once a week). She's also an excellent swimmer. But, like me, hates team sports and ball sports. My younger girl (almost 8) is pretty athletic. Heaven knows where she gets it from (maybe her dad, I guess, certainly not me!).

Posted by: Kirsty at March 12, 2012 6:33 PM

Well, I played soccer as a kid and sucked at it. I'm pretty athletic and loved to play whatever schoolyard sport was going down. I pretended I was a bike racer as I tooled around my block on a 10-speed, and I tried out for JV Pom-Pom and Girls' Basketball but dropped out of both tryouts after making the first cut.

Good thing, because when I was a 15-year-old girl who really just wanted to have dates and not games on Friday nights, my knee finally gave out (this condition is why I hadn't been much of a soccer star) and my surgeon said, "This is a degenerative condition. Do not run, jump, or ski." So I swim. Whenever I get off my fat ass to exercise, that is. Which is never.

Posted by: Brooke at March 12, 2012 7:37 PM