As the days grow warmer and the school year nears its end, my mind is cast back to that old tradition known as Field Day, in which the athletic kids got to show off and the un-athletic kids were forced to submit themselves to torture and embarrassment.
I fell somewhere in the middle. I did okay, say, tossing a baseball. And though the relay and the long-distance running were banes to me, I was a pretty good sprinter. The 100-meter dash was no problem.
The one thing I did particularly well, though, at Field Day: Frisbee. I always won the ribbon for Frisbee. Toss it to that cone? Sure. Get it all the way down the field? Okay. I’m not sure why or how, but I’m a natural with a Frisbee.
Other strange things I proved good at over my years in physical education? Bowling. Jump rope (won an award for going the longest time in that one). Badminton. Croquet. Table tennis. Air hockey. Weight lifting. Pinball.
And yet I suck at foosball. Actual tennis? Nope. Or actual hockey? Decidedly not. Racquetball or squash? Nuh-uh.
I’m an indifferent swimmer; I enjoy it, but don’t take it seriously enough to do it especially well. Can’t dive, either. I’m no good on the field in soccer (“football” to my overseas friends), but make an okay goalie.
But I was useless with the typical American sports:
- Softball/baseball—I would duck when someone pitched to me and couldn’t catch well enough to field.
- [American] football—my coaches didn’t even bother; they just let me walk the track while everyone else played.
- Basketball—not coordinated enough; I couldn’t keep myself from traveling.
- Volleyball—I don’t even know what. Just a disaster all around.
I try not to feel too bad about all that now. It’s easy to feel like a failure when you’re only good at the weird, little things. But you know, there are a lot of football and basketball and baseball players. Not so many great Frisbee folks, though. I’m just in a select, exclusive sort of group is all.