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8/11/2009

Sport from my vantage point

When I was a kid, my Dad wanted me to be a bowler. Actually, it was because I had shown NO signs of being a capable ball player, which was his first love and would have been his first choice for me.

I was not an excellent bowler, either. Good, maybe. But that's all anyone would ever have called me. Good.

So, for sport, I was pretty much a disappointment to my Dad.

He wanted me to play football in High School. I wound up in marching band. Playing trombone. Even in 1960 or so, 5 foot 7 and 125 pounds was nowhere big enough to play effective high school football. It was just the right size, however, to be a tackling dummy. It was not for me.

I tried boxing when I was in the Marines. I had one fight. TKO. I didn't win. I also ran - I was a miler. I never finished higher than 6th out of a field of 12. I never ran as a civilian. I actually hate running.

Today I play golf. Not well. But better than I have in a long time. I can't help but wish that my Dad had been a fan of Sam Snead or Ben Hogan or even become a member of Arnie's Army. Because then I might have taken up golf much sooner. Because I think I could have played golf - I just never had the chance when I was young enough that it would have made a difference in the level of play I could achieve.

Sport is a great teacher of life lessons. Teach your kids a sport. Or two. Or three. Hell, give a shot at all of them, if you can. Let him or her tell you, by their play, where they belong.

There will come a day when they thank you for it. I promise.

I had no idea where this post was going when I started it. I'm glad it wound up where it did.

Ndinombethe.

24 comments:

Mrs4444 said...

My son is 6'1" and 140 pounds. In the pool, he is a giant. I am grateful that there is a sport out there for everyone. Glad you found yours :)

Shadow said...

mmmmm, i've never liked playing sport. nor watching it. not a sport person i am. so what does that say about me?????

Audubon Ron said...

Why didn't you become a bowler like your dad wanted?

Nan said...

There IS a sport for everyone. So right. The story is coming along excitingly, I love Ma sitting outside the door with her rifle and her Reader's Digest!

witchypoo said...

I disliked the sweaty sports. Swimming was good. And volleyball.

moneythoughts said...

Sports filled my days in my youth, and if I had some one taking care of me like in my youth, I would probably be still playing something today. I agree that team sports are good for all kids, boys as well as girls. I know playing sports, whether in school or on the streets, kept me out of a lot of trouble. Now I am almost too old to get into trouble, but I still try.

I like what you wrote Lou.

Kim said...

I didn't find a sport I liked until my 30's.. (running).. but now that I found it, I am not sure how I survived all those years without it.. :)

Jientje said...

I'm not much of a sports person nowadays. And especially bowling is something I detest. It's a good thing I go out on photo walks, at least I get some exercise! Golf seems like a great way to be outside and socialize.

hannah said...

I hope our son thanks us someday for all of the sports we had him involved in. Unfortunately, once the drug use began, sports was the first thing he lost interest in. He was a natural athlete, with lots of talent. Such a waste.

Loraine said...

I never cared for sports. I tried running, but the scoliosis in my lower spine makes my legs do really awkward things when I run. So I just hike now.
Only my youngest really cares for sports. She's done cheer and wants to do soccer.

Momisodes said...

I'm glad that you at least eventually found golf. It sounds like its become a source of great joy for you.

I hope to offer my daughter as much exposure to sports as possible. As much as we can.

calicobebop said...

I am the most uncoordinated person that I know. My parents tried me in everything from ballet to basketball but to no avail. Turns out swimming is just right for me - can't hurt anyone in the pool! :)

Great post - would love to see a picture of you in the marching band!

Hyphen Mama said...

I hope my kids will be able to pare down how many sports they will want to play... being a chauffeur to one kid is getting old. I can't wait for the 2nd one to start testing his sporting wings, too!

Joyce-Anne said...

I continue to wrestle with which sport to put Computer Boy in. There are commitments (Both financial and attendance) that concern me. With both my husband and I working weekends, how do I ask a babysitter to bring my 3 children to a game when only one of them is playing?

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Neither Tyler nor myself were big sports people in school. He and I both dabbled in basketball as middle-schoolers, but nothing else. I became a runner as an adult and I hope that our kids become interested in at least one sport. Something.

Tara R. said...

Both my kids and hubs played soccer, the Boy now skates and my daughter has taken up your beloved golf. I didn't take up a sport (martial arts) until I was well into my 30s.

I was in band too (the rifle corps), don't forget what a work out marching could be.

Heather said...

I cannot golf to save my life-- I just don't understand it, and my ex- stepdad pushed it way to much when I was growing up. That being said, maybe I would like it now?

My sport? Softball or swimming. I can do a kickass freestyle or butterfly, and I can hit a pretty fast softball. I haven't done either in YEARS though. :)

ree said...

I never got to play team sports when I was young because I was the oldest - and therefore the latchkey babysitter by default - but some of my favorite memories as an adult were watching Shortman play soccer and baseball. And playing soccer myself for 8 years.

LceeL said...

Mrs4444: I have. I'm glad he has, as well.

Shadow: Some do, some don't. It just says - you don't.

Audubon Ron: I wasn't good enough. :(

Nan: Thanks, Nan. Glad you're enjoying it.

Witchypoo: Volleyball isn't a sweaty sport?

Moneythoughts: You're NEVER too old, Fred.

Kim: That's the way runner's are - they live, eat and breathe it.

Jientje: Bowling here, Jientje, is tenpins - not bowling like you have in Europe.

Hannah: I'm so sorry, Hannah. I know that's hard.

Loraine: I really enjoy soccer. I was, for a while, a FIFA certified Ref.

Momisodes: Yes, golf is a joy for me - but not anywhere near as much joy for me as Babisodes gives you.

Calicobebop: Swimming is a wonderful sport - but very solitary.

Hyphen Mama: It's hard - especially when there's only one parent parenting.

Joyce-Anne: You get a nearby parent to take your child to and from. Let babysitter babysit.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter: Lead them to it, if necessary. Some kids won't try unless prodded a little.

Tara R: Yeah - hot and sweaty in the sun.

Heather: Some sports are for the young - softball, for example. Others, like swimming or golf, last a lifetime.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Great advice, Lou. My husband and I aren't big into sports, but we still believe you should learn to do *something*.

Emily/Randomability said...

We've signed Little Man up for soccer (Dad's sport of choice) and T-Ball (Little Man & Mom's sport of choice).

I'm hoping that he excels in one of them. Both would be cook too.

CaraBee said...

Great advice. My parents never encouraged me to play sports and I didn't. It is one of my bigger regrets. I will definitely get my daughter involved in whatever way I can.

Patsy said...

I enjoyed this post --- trombone in the marching band, me too. I love sports, but I'm not an athlete. Some of us are just meant to be fans.


Things are fine. My life just seems to fluxuate between extremes. I either have nothing to blog about or an over abundance of stories and no time to organize them in my head and then write them. Thanks for asking. I'll try to do better.

Scary Mommy said...

Those are sometimes the best posts, aren't they, the ones that take on a life of there own. I loved this. :)