Monday, April 29, 2013

Five Fingers = One Hand

When I was a little kid, I really didn't like sports. I like being outside and going for walks and bike rides down the canal but I really did not enjoy exercise. I hated gym and often lied and pretended I forgot my gym shoes so that I could be the scorekeeper. I did try soccer and our team ended up winning the gold medal but it was no thanks to me.

In high school, I still really didn't like sports. I tried basketball and hated it (sorry Scott!). I tried volleyball and hated it. I loathed gym and did what I could to get out of it. I hate to say this but, if I had type 1 diabetes in high school I probably would have used that as a  convenient excuse (which would only have served to perpetuate the misconceptions of T1 I know but, still, I would have used it).

In university I went to the gym with my friends and learned how to lift weights and do aerobics. I didn't love it but it probably kept the frosh fifteen down to the frosh ten in terms of weight gain so I'm grateful for that.

Somewhere along the line, years into adulthood, something clicked and I discovered an activity that I liked and then loved. Running. I was as surprised as anyone by how much I enjoyed it.

Then a year later I found cycling which I like a lot and think I could learn to love without too much trouble.

The next thing I discovered was curling and I quickly fell in love with that too. Curling was the most surprising for me because it is a team sport which I abhor. I had too many bad childhood experiences with team sports and being the last picked and the one most likely to cause us to lose the game. I feel pressure the minute my performance impacts a team result and I usually fall apart pretty quickly. For some reason curling didn't seem to bring out the same unresolved childhood sports trauma issues and I just had fun.

Last year I added swimming to the list of athletic pursuits that I love, bringing the total number of activities I do to four.

And last week I tried golf. I had a golf lesson on Friday which went surprisingly well. On Saturday I asked Doug to take me golfing and we headed to a 9-hole course where all the holes were par 3. I'm sure there is a technical name for this kind of course but I think of it as the baby steps course. It was my first game and, with only one lesson under my belt, I set a pretty reasonable goal of trying to play a 63. That would allow me 7 shots per hole. I ended up playing a 61 and even got a 4 and a 5. Pretty horrible by most standards but fine by mine.

As we drove home in the setting sun I counted on my hand.

Omigod, I now do five different sports: run, bike, curl, swim and golf.

One more and I'll have to add my other hand when I'm counting them.

"That's just crazy" said my eight-year old self. "Good for you."

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