The Sporting Me
The golfing life
... and the rest is not history
Sports was never my cup of tea. Ever since I could remember, (in my case, at three years of age, or was it two?) anytime my older siblings, friends or classmates would start some kind of game that involved any kind of coordinated physical exertion,I would slink away into the farthest corner, and no amount of familial teasing, friendly urging, or classless threatening would dislodge me from where I was ensconsed. To the extent that I was involved in a group or even solitary effort to flex my muscles, tease my tendons and stimulate my sweat glands, the most that I would be involved in was a game of marbles or rubberbands, or hide and seek.
In High School, I tried volleyball, but after the third week of competition, I had to give it up when an opponent spiked the ball so hard and my face just wasn't fast enough to evade the twirling ball. I ended up in the emergency room, facially bruised, cerebrally contussed, and forever cursing my unlucky stars. College came soon enough. I took up swimming which I thought I would have an easy go of it, having learned (while bathing in the local river) how to float and splash my arms and advance a few feet with what I thought was a pretty good freestyle. The very first day of swim class, the instructor asked if any of us know how to swim in any kind of fashion, so I volunteered and tried to impress him with my freestyle. I wasn't even midway into my demonstration of my swimming prowess, when I heard everyone laughing their hearts out, and the instructor said: ".. now class. that is not the way to swim."
Medical school and all that entails took out sports in the equation of my day to day world of Gray's Anatomy,and Guyton's Physiology and Chanco's Microbiology. Spectator sports as the name implies, meant hours on end watching other people sweat it out while I kept cool on the bleachers, or worse, in front of the tube munching M&Ms and imbibing gallons of soda pop.
They say that everything improves and becomes clearer after marriage. Well in my case it did not, at least when it came to my involvement in any kind of sporting activity. The clarity of the perception that after all my sports disasters, I would never be enticed again into taking up any of the stuff did not improve any when my wife, in an attempt to put some spice and spike into my sedentary lifestyle (as if taking care of patients was not taxing enough) convinced me to play tennis. During my first day of practice, while bouncing off the ball against a wall I jumped high to hit it then landed wrong on my right ankle, twisting it into several directions all at once. The noncholant orthopod casted it, then sent me off with the advice that perhaps golf would be a better match play for me than tennis.
Ahhhh golf. Watching Arnie and the Golden Bear whack a small ball in an attempt to finally roll it into a small hole in the middle of an undulating green, is not my idea of a riveting sport. As a spectator sports, golf is somnolence inducing, to say the least. It took me a while to actually realize that golf, could be a high-wire act all its own. Now that I am playing geometry (almost always inelegantly) on a playing field with sneaky sand traps, muddy water holes, patchy grass, and undulating trees, life has never been more exciting, or more fulfilling, or liberating. Just ask the thousands upon thousands of my fellow week end whackers.