I have never been a sports person.
I hold onto a memory of being a 5th grader in PE during baseball week. I was an outfielder, doing my best to hide behind our PE teacher who was serving both teams as pitcher. When a player from the other team hit the ball, I lifted my glove in the air, hoping for my PE teacher to see me and give me an “O” (for “Outstanding”) on my report card under that PE effort grade. Honestly, I wasn’t hoping for much else. So, imagine my surprise when that ball miraculously landed in the center of my glove and my hot, sweaty fingers closed around it.
My face grew as hot as my hand in that glove- still high above my head, by the way. My head swiveled from side to side as I tried to figure out who I was supposed to throw the ball to. The batter wasn’t running for first base. He just stood still there on the home plate…watching me. I looked around at the players on my own team. I looked around at the player from first moving to second, and the player from third moving to home. I’m not really sure how long I stood there like that, scanning the field, but it felt like an eternity.
Finally-desperate to get everyone’s eyes off me- I lowered my arm and threw the ball to the first baseman. Surely the batter was going to start running anytime now, right? With my weak throw, which I’m not sure even made it all the way to first base, came the exaggerated groan of my PE teacher.
Had I been paying attention to the rules of baseball that he had taught our class earlier that week, I would have known to throw the ball to another baseman than the 1st baseman. I would have gotten 2 players out and been the MVP of elementary school baseball. Oh, what a glorious title that would have been for the chubby girl who took her books to recess. Surely I would have gotten that “O” in PE effort on my report card too. Sadly, my elementary school report cards were peppered with only many “S” in PE and this memory never fails to remind me why.
I think back to it a lot now that I am also a teacher. I can completely understand my PE teacher’s frustration. There’s nothing that makes you grit your teeth like when a student just doesn’t get or, even worse, just doesn’t care about something you’re so excited to share with them.
Or, maybe there is. Like when your own loved one doesn’t care about something you’re excited to share with them.
Today is just another Saturday that my husband is spending begging me to watch the Florida State football game with him. Justin is a football fan, and especially a Florida State fan, through and through. Our hound dog was even named Tally after Tallahassee, the city where the Florida State Seminoles play.
Perhaps today I’ll give sports another try. Maybe football will go better than baseball did. If anything, I’ll at least get to wear the sparkly FSU pin I purchased from a recent craft show. Oh, and try again for another “O”- this time as in an Obliging Wife.