I have competed in a few athletic events in my lifetime. That being said, I am not very competitive when it comes to sports-related activities.
Growing up in the countryside of Maryland, I played my share of football and baseball in the fields with my brothers. I grew up with four brothers, and they did not treat me any differently than they would a boy playing the game. I remember many painful tumbles when playing tackle football and several equally painful moments when being hit by a fast-moving baseball.
I did not play any sports in school. I regret that I did not pursue some type of team sport because I was athletic and I could run. I think I would have enjoyed field hockey. My Mom played field hockey, and she loved it. My daughter Erica played as well; my Mom would have been proud.
I was a cheerleader in High School. It was not the extreme cheerleading that you see today. To be a cheerleader in my school, you had to be able to do a split, cartwheels, a few flips, and memorize a routine. It was a lot of fun, but the type of cheering I did was not what I would call an athletic event.
When I was in my early thirties, my husband, at the time, and I joined a co-ed soccer team. All I knew about soccer was that you run, kick the ball, and do your darndest to get it in the opponent’s goal. Little did I know how competitive these novice teams were. They were out for blood, and they got it. I remember a man who stole the ball from me with such intensity that he knocked me over in the process. I remember this as the turning point for me. I learned that there was nothing friendly about our opponents. I jumped up, angry at the indignity, and I chased that guy down and got the ball back. I, too, remember seeing my ex facing off with a woman to block her from heading to the goal. I remember thinking this would be a piece of cake. As the woman came barreling toward Joe, I realized I was probably wrong in this assumption. This female player locked her eyes on the goal and let nothing in her path deter her, including Joe. I can still see him flying through the air after the impact.
The only other sporting events I have been involved in are local fun runs. I have done the one-mile fun runs and a few 5Ks, and one 8K run. In these runs, my goal was to reach the end successfully. I did not worry about how long it would take me; I focused more and having fun and enjoying the scenery around me during the run. Many times I would carry a small camera with me and take photos along the way.
Do I have any aspirations to compete in a sports-related event again? I am tempted to run another local 5K. If I do, I will have a smile on my face and a camera in my hand and no desire to rush the process only to finish.