Of Me and Sports

<A Ski Slope in Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan>

We junior high boys gathered in a yard beside a pool on a summer day.

“You can’t play. Don’t interfere!”, one said.

“OK, I’ll will cheer you all”, I replied.

After a few acclamations, one of those resting on the side till their turn in the game grumbled “You just know nothing”.

All of those boys sneered at me for my inaptitude for soccer, and that was not the first time. Now as I am reminiscing those incidences, scenes of classmates running round the soccer balls in the park, on the pavements of the nearby university, in the yard by the pool and so on flashed back ceaselessly. My disparage of being a loser at sports revived and surged up my stomach with a big kick of solitude.

I was a loser at all kinds of sports: soccer, basketball… Even now, I couldn’t make head or tail of whether I lacked perseverance or they never had patience with me. Either way, I ended up envying junior high classmates’ maneuvring a ball under their feet, or high school friends’  sweating in a basket ball game. They got all the glorious attention from the girls, and even if they lost they would receive sweet gifts of comfort. I was off the edge of the paper (sports-wise).

Now, however, I have continued tennis for 3 years, and picked up skiing since last spring. I enjoyed the sports themselves very much. Every time I could hit the racket perfectly at the ball and the sound beautifully popped up, my heart pumped up a potion of adrenaline into the veins. What a feeling! When I first got on the skiing slope, after a whole morning of falling off, I managed to slide all the way down safely in wedge style. Today, I succeeded in making parallel turns across a wide slope. I realized, once again, sports served not to draw attention but help perfect myself. The feeling of achievement was tremendous.

Always do I dare take up a new hobby. The issue lies in whether the experienced dudes welcome newbies. Back in high school, they quickly gave up on me for my clumsiness (or, perhaps, my enormous pride gave up on dealing with deep sighs and cold shoulders). Now, however, I met these people who never turned their back on me. They give me every chance to improve my performance in the sports; they are willing to instruct, not scorn or sneer; they are generous with words of support, not the sigh of surrender. I feel blessed and grateful now.

I do not blame my high school friends for their ignorance whatsoever; it might have been hard coping with this nerd; or it might have been my own delusion. Still, if they had had the sympathy as my friend now has for me, those lonely days would not have gone down recorded in my lifetime. A person can, I strongly believe, walk miles farther beyond the limit as long as there are others have faith in his/her achievement. Giving one the care equals giving one the boost.

Nevertheless, without such a gloomy puberty, wouldn’t I value my colleague’s patience and kindness toward me now? In the end, everything is worthy.

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