Thursday, June 17, 2010

Off My Duff: Summer Begins

The last day for our students was on Monday and Tuesday was faculty in-service day. For once, it was actually fun - a sort of field day for the teachers. Group building, you know. After the usual snore-fest in the library, many of us headed to the gym where the P.E. teachers taught us an astonishingly complicated game called, I think, Pins and Hoops. It involved throwing foam balls across the gym at bowling pins. But there were teams. And you couldn't actually peg people but if someone caught your ball in mid-air, you were out. But then you could get your teammates back in by throwing a ball against the backboard. Seriously, I barely understood what was going on but I'm fairly certain we lost. Good fun, though.

Then outside for softball, a game I do understand (but if you want to drive yourself insane, try to explain the rules to a five-year-old). I believe that one can learn a great deal about people in a casual softball game. You learn about their athletic abilities, certainly, but also about their competitiveness, their sense of fair play, their control needs and their pride. Playing with teachers is enlightening. We all try to be encouraging. We want to be inclusive. But at the end of the day, each of us is used to being the one in charge so either you all defer to an amorphous pecking order or no one's in charge.

You can learn about yourself, too. In some ways, I am more coordinated as an adult than I was as a teenager. I am, however, disastrously out of shape, a fact which would become even more apparent later in the day. I learned, too, that at least as far as faculty softball is concerned, I was not as worried about winning as I was about feeling that I was holding up my own end. Losing? Okay. Losing because I screwed up? Not okay. We won so I was off the hook.

As we were helping him clean up, one of the PE teachers suggested a game of HORSE in the gym after lunch. Now, I'm always up for any game involving a basketball. I lost at HORSE but when we switched to two-on-two, the old instincts kicked in. I was never anything but a competent pickup player but I adored basketball growing up. It was always my game of choice and for years, I shot around every day after school - even kept it up in college. If anything, my instincts for the game have improved but boy am I old now. My side won both games we played but I was in some serious pain afterward. One thing that I do love about basketball is that even when your shots aren't falling, and mine often aren't, you can find other ways to be useful: play tough defense, set picks, scrap for rebounds, etc. I was always better at those things anyway.

All of which leads me into my personal plan for the summer: to get more exercise. My intention is to do something deliberately athletic for an hour each day. I'm not looking to lose weight or bulk up. I just want to be healthier and feel that I am living a more well-rounded life. Yesterday, it was a long walk while Our Girl was still at school - her last day. I'm hoping we can find some things that we enjoy doing together.

1 comment:

  1. That was a great day! I will admit I got a little competitive during the time my team was in the field....I don't think we made the best choice as to who should play first base....