Are you ready? ROW!
I grew up thinking I was bad at sports. My parents enrolled me in softball when I was about eight years old, but it was a little late. I had never learned to be comfortable with a ball, and I knew I wasn't coordinated enough to be truly good, anyway. Plus, I seriously lacked any measure of competitive spirit. And so, whenever anyone suggested doing something that included balls flying through the air or picking teams, I would bolt. "I'm not good at sports," I'd say, instead opting to watch from the sidelines or leave altogether.
It's taken me a long, long time to learn that I actually am good at some sports and athletic activities; I just needed to figure out what they were. That is, I needed to figure out what my body and personality were well-suited for.
It turns out that I'm well-suited for rowing.*
A friend encouraged me to take a free one-hour rowing class with her about two years ago, which I did. I loved it and planned on taking the full month-long course, but school and work always seemed to get in the way. I would periodically mosey down to the lake for leisurely paddleboarding or kayaking when I had time, but always looked at the rowers longingly and thought, "I want to do that. I could do that."
Well, two years later, I finally decided to do it. So far I've taken four out of the eight classes, and I love it, just as I thought I would. But I'm also good at it. And it feels good to be good at it. I feel strong and healthy and happy with the world when I'm rowing. I feel like I've found a place where my long arms and narrow hips matter and where my instinct to follow matters, too. In crew, it's crucial to move in unison with the one person who sets the stroke. That person leads, and the rest follow. I never wanted to be a scene-stealer or a show-stopper; most of the time, I like doing what everyone else is doing. In crew, the goal is just that -- to move together in one elegant rhythm.
So I guess all of that's to say . . . Sports are fun; you just have to find the right one. I just had to find the right one.
*And rafting and paddleboarding and kayaking and anything that has to do with floating on water. (Though I've never tried to water ski; I get a little nervous just thinking about it.)
Thing I'm thankful for: Dena, my new rowing friend