Sunday, January 30, 2011

On sports

I have never been a fan of team sports and I feel that most, if not all of it, stems from an experience I had when I was in middle school. Because I have always been very tall, people have always thought that I have an interest in basketball. I have never had an interest. But in middle school, the basketball coach, his wife, and many others very actively tried to get me to join the team. They never saw me play and told me they would just put me on the team. I wouldn't even face the prospect of being cut from the team or never allowed on in the first place. It was mine and all I had to do was accept it. This posed a bunch of problems for me. I was not athletic in the slightest. I couldn't at any point muster up enough of anything to care or apply myself. I seriously did not want to be seen in a tank top. Why would I, clearly having no athletic ability, be appointed to the team without question when others actually do want to be there and try and I would be taking their spot. And finally, I was never a real popular kid. I was the skinny, geeky, video game fan who seriously would mainline video games if it were possible. With joining the basketball team, I would be accepted among many groups of people throughout the school. And in doing this, I would be turning my back on myself. So despite the fighting and how ugly things got, I didn't join the team. I paid for that decision all the way to the end of 12th grade. Many years later, I still have found myself unable to play basketball under any circumstances. Some scars run real deep.

I have not been able to understand the pull of watching team sports on television or even participating in them. It just seems as though I am supposed to love them out of virtue of being a man. And since I do not like them at all, I am somehow unable to be understood by other human beings. It's very strange to me.

I enjoy sports that are basically a solo act. Skateboarding, climbing, and weight lifting are in essence me against myself. I can push myself as I feel the need to in order to progress into the sport, build a better body, or just even work through my issues and frustrations. But I am not so much a fan of watching them. Skateboarding is very much the thrill of the experience. Climbing and weightlifting are for the strength building, be it of body, mind, and character. Those things do not translate to a spectator sport to me.

You all go ahead and wear your sports jerseys emblazoned with your favorite teams and players' names. Remember your player stats. Enjoy your games. Just know that it is simply not for me.

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