I have problems with structured, competitive activities. I think this stems from a variety of childhood traumas, mostly occurring in gym class. By age 8, I was clearly tall and long-legged, but was skinny and wore thick glasses. I was also painfully shy. Therefore, my prowess at team sports was basically non-existent. I do vividly recall a substitute gym teacher who didn’t know how feeble I was — we were playing kickball, and he said, “You’ve got long legs! You’ll be great!” and I can still picture his disappointed face when I was easily gotten out at first.
But I am slowly, slowly learning to be ok with the structured and the competitive. I’m starting small, with board games; Kevin and his friends are leading me gingerly down board-game lane, and I’m learning to play Risk and Trivial Pursuit. I also realized, at a party on Saturday night, that flip cup — when played with tons of team spirit and no voting-you-off-flip-cup-island, can be lots of fun. The host of the party turned to me jubilantly after our team (Shasta) won by a mile, and yelled, “This is why people like sports!!”