Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sports. Why I suck at them, and the ones I don't understand.

Ah, sports. My nemesis. I never had much luck with them.

Tee Ball always posed a problem because I was better at hitting the tee than the ball.
Baseball was just a disaster altogether. Shame on whoever decided I was worthy of moving up to the next level in ball-bat combo sports. Let's thank our lucky stars I never tried my hand at cricket.
I had many acceptable years in soccer - nine to be exact. But... we were club soccer, and we weren't exactly the star-studded team. In our awesome mustard-yellow jerseys, I think the Potomac Kiwanas won a grand total of maybe one "championship" in the almost entire decade I played with them. Defense was my forte, because it required far less aim. I was once awarded the Sportsmanship Award, which, and God help me if I ever admit this to my children, is the "you tried but still suck" award. I'm okay with it - no really, I am.
Basketball. 6th grade. I was 12 years old. I'd really rather just not acknowledge that this ever happened.
I took some tennis lessons in seventh grade, and that was okay so long as I didn't play on a team. I'm actually not even completely against volleying for the sake of volleying. I just don't like competitive things, mainly because losing time and time again was just scarring as a child.
In high school, I accepted that things which involved coordination were not for me. So I joined cross country. That couldn't be too hard - you run, there are no balls, no sticks, no goals involved. You don't have to pass to anyone, the main person you disappoint when you walk half the meet is yourself, not your team, and you just follow the people in front of you (I always wondered how the people in the front of the meet knew where to run. Who did they follow? Those signs were never enough for me). Then my knee got busted, WAY busted. So I stopped running altogether, did some physical therapy, and just kind of quit exercising. Okay Universe, I get it. Don't exercise.

I've followed that to this day, pretty much. I run sometimes, but nothing like before. In college for a while I was doing yoga and pilates regularly. But as for sports, it's just better if I watch them. I love me some FCBarcelona, tennis matches (yeah Nadal! Okay, okay maybe I just like watching Spaniards in sports), I'll even watch some basketball with OfficeMate. But there are a few sporting events which just baffle me.

1. Golf. I get bored.
2. Nascar. See above.
3. Wrestling.

Which brings us to...
I attended a WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) event last night. Some of you might be more familiar with it's older name, WWF, but that name was trademarked by the World Wildlife Foundation (and their super sweet panda logo that I used to have on a tote when I was like eight). A dear friend had tickets she got through her job, so Britannica and I tagged along. I over-analyzed various aspects of the evening: What to wear (to be fair, I was all decked out in JCrew and Ann Taylor), proper etiquette (you need none), and that I had no idea what to expect (I don't know if knowing what to expect would have helped me out at all).

So off I went in my "grunged down" outfit of Banana Republic jeans and shirt from the Gap (...there's a sign I didn't belong there) to watch men (and apparently women. Check you out, WWE, being all equal opportunity!) wrestle. As it turns out, there's a freaking backstory behind everything in wrestling. As my friend put it, "I feel like we're watching Days of Our Lives and missed the first 15 years!" There were villains, what I think might have been a feud over a girl (I'm still not sure), and men in itty bitty tight briefs who look like they had been covered in I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter Spray. Mad props for well choreographed fights in some instances though! (Other instances... they don't deserve props)People were INTO this stuff. While slippery men bitch-slapped one another and made awkward grunting noises, Britannica and I had a ridiculous analytical conversation regarding how this is just as much a form of escapism as video games or a good read. That's why it's World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT, not a federation. Needless to say, I felt horribly out of place, but I was pleasantly entertained (moreso by the man in front of us with the winning mullet/tye dye combo, but yknow). When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And in Roanoke, this odd little version of Rome, you watch "wrestling" where at one point, someone gets hit with some stairs.

Every now and then, the three of us would just turn to each other and say, "I don't understand!" "What's going on?" "Who's this guy?" "Why does this man have a leopard print cape?" "Why is his butt covered in so many sparkles?" and my most-uttered question of the evening, "I wonder how you get into this line of work....?"

I learned a LOT, though. I always talk about how I want to live like the locals, and I definitely did last night. Also, I was able to experience something I wouldn't have otherwise. I think that, with that, I don't need to go to any golf tournaments or NASCAR races. I don't care if I'm close to Martinsville. I'll stick to polo matches in Charlottesville at wineries, thank you.

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