Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ouched Limagents and Dead Fried Weasels

Yesterday I was an athlete. Not yesterday in the literal sense like the day before today and the day after yesteryesterday (what the hell does yester mean, anyway? we don't use that prefix anywhere else - like not at my current place of employment, but yesterjob... I had a delicious pot pie yestermeal... yesterChristmas, I got a sack full of paprika from my yesterboss, that's why I quit my yesterjob and gotbooted from my yesterapartment for failure to pay the yesterrent...)

Yesterday in the figurative, dreamy, reminiscing, John Lennon -Yesterday love was such an easy game to play now I need a place to hide away oh I believe in yesterday - sense. Back in the day, I was an athlete. Well, I played sports anyway... I did a little of everything. Football, hockey, basketball, baseball, track, soccer...I was the lord of the monkey bars at Clow Elementary. I could climb a tree better than anyone in the 'hood. Daily participation in incredibly vigorous games of hide n' seek, and I could freeze tag like nobody's business. I was an athelete.

The problem... I was little. I was a wee lil fella. People wondered if I'd ever grow. Mom, Dad, Nana, my sister, the mail man, the neighbor's dog, the dude that cut my dad's hair, birthday party clowns, a creepy old woman down the street that always ranted about the evils of Tupperware... I began to wonder if perhaps these people didn't have anything better to wonder about... the economy, the job market, the state of affairs in the Middle East, whether or not Barbie's shoes match her purse, the ever changing zip codes, sniffing your own butt, Bryl-Cream, a better method for making balloon animals that don't resemble a snake with a nipple for a nose, or that air-tight plastic bowl that is lurking behind the bushes and peeking into your windows at night. They had to have something better to worry about.

I did. I worried, not about my size, but about how to get better. I was dedicated to every game I played. I played football even though the other kids my age could have crushed me like a frat boy smashing a beer can on his forehead. I played baseball even though my strike zone was about the size of one of those "place postage here"sections on an envelope. I played basketball even though the only uniform the coach had for me was so big on me that pulling the drawstring on the shorts as far as I could and then pinning it in place made them look remarkably similar to the skirts the little cheerleaders were wearing. I played soccer even though most of the other players could probably kick me as far as they could the ball. I played because I loved the sport, I loved the competition, and, probably, I had something to prove.

By my way of thinking, any team that I was a part of deserved my dedication and 100% effort. If the track coach asked me to run a race that I normally didn't, I dashed to the starting line and gave it all I had. If the baseball coach decided to have me play a position I didn't play, I'd watch the other team's player, pick the brains of my team mates, and do the best I could. If the football coach asked me to move from my usual spot (back-up ball) to defensive end... well, then I'd run out there, latch onto the knee of the other squad's running back, and do my damnedest to at least slow him down a bit as he dragged me across the field. If my basketball coach asked little tiny me, "Son, I know you're only 2'9" and you're wearing a pair of shorts so large it actually resembles a dress, and not in a MartinLawrence - Milton Bearle comical sort of way, in a sad, oh dear God I feel sorry for that boy and deep down inside I wonder if he's ever gonna grow kinda way, but, that said, I'd like you to run out there and play center... for the girl's ice hockey team... in Saskatoon."You know what I'd do? I'd strap on some really tiny skates, hike up my dress... uh, I mean gather up my shorts, and skate my little but to North Western Canada... simply because the coach asked me to. Not that he was a particularly inspiring coach, that's just the way it worked yesterday.

Today, also in that figurative, nowadays, sort of sense, it's not like that. I coach baseball, basketball, and track at my school, and I deal with more whiners and little babies that I do athletes. If bitching were a competitive sport, I bet I could take forty kids to the state finals this year.

These are the excuses I've heard in the past year or so. Not the excusesf or losing. I don't worry about winning and losing, all I care aboutis 100% effort, steady improvement, and a dedication to the team. These are simply the excuses why kids didn't want to run the race I'd entered them in or play the position I asked them to play.

Running too much makes my ears burn. - this kid needs a doctor or at the very least, an ointment of some sort.

I ate too many nachos and I may throw up. - I asked him if he learned his lesson. He said what lesson, that I shouldn't make him run the mile? I said run it any way. He did throw up. It was cool. His dad gave me a high five.

My toe won't stop itching. - I'm not certain what he intended me to do about it, or how it affected his ability to play second base.

Track is stupid. - And yet, she signed up for it, for the third year in a row, and went to the state finals in three events last season.

We're not going to win anyway. - The power of a positive attitude is staggering.

My dad is worried that too many at bats will ruin my golf game. He thinks I can go pro. - And I worry that if I see your dad I may haveto shove Tiger Woods up his ass.

Jake says he's better than me. - Uh, maybe you should go beat him then.

Jake jumped the fence. - Then you'll probably win this race.

There's broken glass. - Not on the field, but about thirty feet away, on the other side of the fence. Apparently the broken glass is mocking and taunting the boy.

I don't like Brad. - To be honest, neither do I, but maybe you should harness that energy and hatred into your game.

I think I may have stubbed my liver. - I never tookan anatomy class, but I'm still pretty certain that that's verydifficult to do regardless of the sport.

I don't know what direction to run. - Forward. Now get out there.

I just joined the team to be social. - Oh man, that's fantastic, I was worried that you actually thought you were good at this. What you're really missing out on is the social scene at the finish line, it's a big party down there.

I'm only here so I have something to put on my college application. -You do realize that you're eleven, right?

I don't want to run, but my mom made me join, because being on the team is cheaper than a babysitter. - Is your mom here? Hey, someone find me Tiger Woods again, would you?

I ouched my limagent (no, that's not a typo, that's what he said), so now my knee bends sideways. - This I'd really like to see.

My shorts scratch my legs when I run too fast. - Yoohoo, Tiger...could you come here for a minute?

I'm afraid the discus kids will hit me. - This would be a possibilityif the discus kids could throw 200 feet the wrong direction, but they can't, probably because they're whining about limagents, stubbed livers, and itchy shorts to their coach.

and my personal favorite of the year...

My brother's pet weasel escaped from his cage last night, snuck intomy room, and chewed through the power cord to my computer, so I didn'tsleep very well, because my room smelled like dead, fried weasel.

That's my rant. I'm done. Trust me, coaching has it's rewarding moments, especially baseball and basketball, but there are just some whacked out people in the world today. I don't know if I can handle any more of these excuses. Next year, I may give up coaching all together, find a few truly dedicated athletes, and put together a mean hide n' seek squad. Ready or not, here I come.


Adullamite said...

I admit I fell asleep half way through, but Paul McCartney wrote Yesterday.
Hope this helps.:)

dana wyzard said...

I think it ALL has to do with kid's "sense of entitlement" that they get from mom and dad, constantly telling them that they can be whatever they "want" to be, and never mention WORKING for it.

Chris Wood said...

With all those excuses to pick from, at least your job has some sense of variety.

PS well done on the lad full of Nachos

Bee said...

You know what I don't understand? Why my hubs says "I have to itch my nose".

I tagged you for a Meme but you don't have to do it if you don't want to because I know you're pregnant.