Miss Congeniality

I’m a disappointing athlete.

I’m (thankfully) built well enough to try anything but not for any particular physical excellence. I’m not very fast, naturally thick (though I lose muscle quickly). I have knock knees and am graceless at best.

I have an average amount of rhythm (culturally speaking) and hand eye coordination. But, barring financial constraints, I probably would’ve tried anything growing up. Come to think of it, I did:

I have a 1st team netball shirt (2005) that I still sleep in that bears the fading ink of that End of School signing frenzy (a surviving note, alludes to my becoming a doctor so that’s very cool and interesting), I still own multiple old pairs of hockey socks that keep me warm at my mother’s house in winter (and cleats), an old tennis racket (I hit “too hard” and aimlessly), a couple of pairs of beach bronze stockings and a pair of silver double flags from my drum majorette days (and quite proudly the blackmail stockings of the North West Team uniform; my mom gave away the court shoes). I even swam well enough to represent my house, largely due to a lack of volunteers, in the 400m breast stroke every other year in high school and believe it or not, I came FOURTH (I also came 4th for my house at the 100m hurdles once but that was a more personal triumph: I was deathly afraid of hurdles in primary school).

Had my school had them (and I had I not been committed to one sport: drummies) I would’ve tried soccer and rugby (I was OBSESSED with rugby). In the interests of full disclosure I also did Latin & ballroom dancing then kickboxing in University. I also got moderately good at Pilates.

Now, my mom loves me. My graduation photo is front and (off) centre on the mantelpiece and my awards have pride of place in main glass cabinet. Despite my impressive resume above, there is not one single photograph of me playing any sport of any kind in the house. She came to one, maybe two athletics days of my entire 12 year school career (we all know I was never in the school team so we can safely assume it was inter house), one netball tournament in primary school (possibly interschool, though I must’ve been playing for the B team) and while I could label her constant teasing of my (lack of) athletic prowess as mean (somewhat justified), she nailed it: “you really put your all into it. Jumping as high as you can for every ball and every fall with your grandfather’s knock knees”. She made no secret of the fact that she thought I wasn’t very good and while this could be misconstrued as unsupportive, that woman bought every single hockey stick (within reason, she drew the line at two), paid for netball camp (the A team that let me join because of my A+ effort, I kid you not, as I was technically in the B team) and nationals every single year that I was a drum majorette.

With the exception of the latter (I was an above average majorette through sheer force of will and a lot of practice) my mom was right:

When it comes to sport I am Miss Congeniality

Feel free to share if you too were a #MissCongeniality (see also: #MonthlyFail)

5 thoughts on “Miss Congeniality

  1. I also tried a bunch of sport:
    – C team for netball which comprised of myself, 2 other girls and the hockey team when playing against other schools
    – Rowing open day (I was mainly there for the egg and bacon rolls – was not about to wake up and be at a dam 30min from school at 5am before school willingly)
    – Tennis (Eish)
    – Hockey (Ouch)
    I smashed arts and culture though. Which made all my sporting fails a minor issue and something else to laugh about. 😋

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I literally won the “enthusiasm prize” in grade 7 hockey. I suspect they made it for me.
    I played one interschool hockey game because 4 girls ahead of me in the heirachy all got sick at the same time. I hit one girl from Thomas Moore in the shin.
    Debating and library monitor-ing where were it was at for me. I even got reading glasses that I didn’t need so I could pull them down my nose and judge people’s late returns.


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