In addition to offering the obvious physical benefits, sports can foster confidence, leadership skills and long-lasting friendships. I’m fortunate to have many unforgettable athletic moments including: winning championships, three stints as a captain, a Division I lacrosse scholarship and setting swim records. There’s also my personal favorite of receiving an award for being a “Four Square Force.”
Along the way to these glory-filled moments, it’s only fitting that there would be numerous goofy or awkward instances for me.
During my first basketball season, I was sick the day that jerseys were picked out. My older brother demonstrated his keen sense of humor when he selected the number zero and said, “This is for how many baskets you’ll score this season.” I would need to verify with our team statistician, however, I think my brother was accurate on that statement.
In high school, basketball proved to offer more embarrassment when I was nailed in the back of the head with a ball by one of my crushes in front of an entire gym full of Habitat for Humanity (better known as Woods Work) volunteers. Preparing for bedtime after the incident, I had just put my retainers in before he came over to apologize profusely. Great timing.
Later, lacrosse would prove to be my best sport, but it still included humiliating experiences. There was the time I was hit in the face with a lacrosse ball. Although I was wearing goggles, I still received double black eyes. My high school and college teammates also found it humorous that I’d narrate my falls, saying things like, “I’m ok!” before hitting the ground.
However, one of my most ridiculous lacrosse moments was when I was a senior in high school. My sister was featured in Sports Illustrated for her own college lacrosse success. On the same day, I was pictured on the cover of our hometown paper, The Capital, attempting to scoop a lacrosse ball between an opponent’s legs.
Two others for good measure:
- On a rare occasion when I wore a dress for a field trip in fourth grade, my clog soared across the soccer field during my first kick.
- Pretending I was an Olympic diver the next summer, I literally bit off more than I could chew. I belly flopped trying to do a flip off the high dive and chipped one of my front teeth. Several years later, my filling fell out the night before a college lacrosse road game, and there wasn’t time to fix it until the following Monday. For any Dumb and Dumber movie fans, I looked like Lloyd Christmas’ twin.
And finally, my husband keeps me grounded by holding onto an 11thplace ribbon from an invitational swim meet from my childhood and taking it out on random occasions.