Girls team sports were not an option when I attended high school. My exposure to group athletics came from mandatory physical education classes.
That suited me.
I found basketball confusing, sometimes shooting the ball at the wrong basket. Softball proved tedious when I could do little more than swing—which wasn’t often. Track found me panting through my first lap as others headed for the showers. Give me a horse to ride or an aerobics class and I performed well. Otherwise, forget it.
My opportunity for redemption came when the senior girls decided to put on a powder puff football exhibition game. Sounded like fun. No tackling. Male football team members to teach us. One silly game. I should have known.
I made the squad, scrabbling through the plays, never sure where the pigskin was, and frequently lost track of the goal. When the coach asked for volunteers to practice place kicks, I stepped forward. Here was my chance to shine. Just run and punt a stationary ball. Piece of cake.
Each of us took our turn, assuming the “stance”, counting our steps, and hitting our stride as we kicked the ball airborne. When my turn came, my excitement overflowed. I could do this. I got into position, calculated the distance, and with a mighty burst of energy zeroed in on the ball. My leg swung, my toe connected with something, and I went sliding six feet in the mud on my rear.
To the side lay the football, the person who’d been holding it doubled up in laughter, her sides shaking. My team members were biting their lips. The coach had the decency to stare at the horizon. Like Lucy with Charlie Brown, I had missed. That’s not something one forgets.
In Proverbs 16:18-19 the scriptures read: “Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
This Sunday, while my husband tunes in to the Super Bowl for a quarter or two, I’ll make the caramel corn, heat the refries, and serve the chips. I’ll read more pages in my novel. I may even do a load of laundry.
Because, behind the scenes, I can still hear the ball holder howling. Enjoy your game.