I always get really nervous when people want to get together to play a sport.
It’s not even that I don’t like sports. I mean, sure, I’m not exactly a “fan,” but I enjoy sports ok. And I like running around and being outside. I even like the idea of playing certain sports.
What I don’t like? Letting people down. I mean, I couldn’t care less if I suck at the game, as long as I’m still having fun. But I hate getting yelled at for sucking. And I hate feeling like people are annoyed that I’m on their team.
It all started in the fifth grade when I would play basketball during recess with some other girls. There was one girl who took it really seriously, and at one point she turned at screamed at me for missing a basket or something. I was so embarrassed, I never played again. True life: My feelings were hurt and it ruined my sports career.
Ok, maybe that’s not exactly what doomed me to a life on the sidelines, but you get the idea.
So you know how the boyfriend and I were going to start playing tennis? Well, at first, I was a little hesitant. I had this mental image of us getting to the court and me being entirely unable to hit the ball inbounds. And him getting frustrated and yelling at me. (Which is ridiculous, because that has literally never happened.)
But since tennis is one of the few sports I remember actually enjoying in gym class, I went with it. And it was super fun. And I wasn’t terrible! It helps that it’s probably the one sport that he’s not lightyears ahead of me in terms of athleticism, but even though neither of us was spectacular, we still had a few good volleys and it was fun running around in the GORGEOUS weather. I even got a little color! And this:
A bonafide sports injury. (And this is three days later. It was really disgusting the day after.)
So I guess this was a lesson in taking a chance and putting yourself out there and not letting it be about winning or losing but how you play the game.
And it helps to have a good tennis partner.