My sister, Annora, a college ball player, convinced me to play basketball with her this Winter. She's been trying to get me to for a while, but I was pregnant until now. I, in turn convinced a couple of my STA classmates to join, so basically, it was a high school reunion group! Playing on this intramural basketball team affirmed my decision to quit all sports and stick with swimming way back when. It's sad, I know, but I have always kind of wondered if I made the right decision. I loved Soccer, Track, and Basketball. I was really good at Soccer, Track and Basketball. I was informed, long ago, by my high school swim coach, "Erin, you are an athlete, not a swimmer". Could I have been better, and achieved a higher level of competition on one of these sports? Maybe. Would I have enjoyed it more? Absolutely not.
Basketball, as I was reminded, is a CONTACT sport. Also, you rely on 4 other people to win. And, if you know me at all, you know I hate to be unnecessarily touched, and I am a control freak. This, in combination with my competitiveness nearly drained the game of any fun for me, nearly. I repeated to myself constantly: "this is just for fun", "doesn't matter if we win", "you can't cover the whole court", "these other girls are playing for fun, so the strongest players don't need to be in at all times". I had to keep myself from punching a few girls in the face, or kicking them in the shins - because they were playing dirty. I am as competitive as they come, but I REFUSE to play dirty. I don't fowl (on purpose), I don't draw fouls, I don't elbow people or grab t-shirts. I do let a few choice comments slip, but when someone purposefully trips you in an intramural basketball game, I think a certain name fits...
I started the season a bit timid, but finished strong. My cat-like reflexes made defense my strong end, but I did score a 3 pointer! My ball-handling and shooting skills did nothing but improve. My ability to remain passive and just enjoy the game for the sake of the game went nowhere, fast. I am still bitter about losing that last game (to play for 3rd place), and probably will be for the rest of my life. Cause that's the way I roll.
I plan to remain in good enough shape to do things like this whenever the opportunity arises. I hope I still have friends willing to do this as well. The competitor in me needs some face time every once in a while.