Funny How Things Turn Out Sometimes

Rambling about nothing important here; but maybe something that can be used as a lesson someday.

When I was in elementary school I was really quiet and most times stayed to myself. I wasn’t included in games when sides were chosen and I was too shy to ask to be picked on a team. My perceived lack of talent also didn’t help. I stayed on the sidelines and would usually stand and watch as others had the time of their life taking part in games and having fun.

I also wondered later when I got older whether they thought I was dumb. Or if they thought I had a learning disability. But that’s a topic for another post.

As I moved through my middle school years I beganplayground to break out of my shyness and actually developed a love of sports. I’m not sure when it happened but by the time I was 13 or 14 it turned out I was very good at sports. And maybe it was there all along and I hadn’t been given an opportunity to display those skills.

In middle school I was also much better with schoolwork and could usually get good grades when I wanted. Although it did seem I had an issue with staying focused and not wanting to do more than I needed. I also didn’t push or challenge myself too often and was satisfied with just getting a passing grade. In other words, I was just average. Or maybe I was just an average teenager.

By the time I got to high school I was much more advanced athletically and much to everyone’s surprise – those same friends from elementary school that wouldn’t allow me to play – I could usually out-play most of them. In any sport!

I remember a particular day after an (American) football game during physical education class my freshman year where I made some plays at quarterback that others were talking about the rest of the day.

Another day I was hoping to sit out a volleyball match but the coach insisted I play. He made me play because he liked the intensity with which I played, and because I think he enjoyed watching me spike the ball so hard across the net and hit one of the guys in the stomach or chest. Oh, the joy of getting even! But who holds grudges, right?

Yet another time the tennis coach stopped everyone at practice and asked that they all come over to tenniswatch a match in which I was playing. I actually lost this match, probably the only one I lost when I got challenged. (Challenged is the keyword here. When I played for fun then that’s all it was, fun, and the competitor in me was left idly standing by.)

Anyway, the tennis coach commented every time one of us used proper technique and I still remember her saying something to the effect of “this is how you play the game guys.” What a thrill that was for me, with my elementary days now a distant past.

In the classroom I had a few teachers that would rearrange seating assignments on Mondays based on grades we received the previous week. And although there was this one girl that usually got perfect scores – and she happened to be in a few of my classes – I got a lot of satisfaction getting the first seat every once in a while. If not, I was usually in one of the first few seats. And this was about getting back at the guys and not the girls, so I didn’t mind coming in second to the girls.

So later on in life I wondered whether those same friends remembered our dogbiteyounger days, and if they knew they provided extra motivation for me to succeed. Probably not, but I’d like to think they did.

~But to all those I say, “Don’t pick on someone you may think is weak as it may come back to bite you in that special part of the anatomy sometimes referred to as your ass!”

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2 thoughts on “Funny How Things Turn Out Sometimes

  1. My competition was mainly in grades and appearance. I always thought the cheer leaders and popular girls were so much prettier than I was. Now I look back at a picture of me at 16 and think,”I wish I realized then what I know now!! I was beautiful!.”
    50 years pass and I go to my class reunion. Those beautiful girls are gone. But I although maybe geekier, looked 10 years younger than most of those my age. Age is the equalizer! I am happy to say that though they had lost their youthful appearance, from what I could tell, many of them were now beautiful on the inside where it counts! Oh, the silliness of youth!

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